Sunday, August 3, 2008

Argiope Spider

St. Andrews Cross Spider
The Argiope Spider or "St. Andrews Cross Spider" spins conspicuous lines or spirals of silk into its web to prevent larger animals or birds from accidentally destroying it. I think its an amazing evolutionary trick. According to Wikipedia...

The average orb web is practically invisible, and it is easy to blunder into one and end up covered with a sticky web. The very easily visible pattern of banded silk made by Argiope is pure white, and some species make an "X" form, or a zigzag type of web (often with a hollow center). The spider then aligns one pair of its legs with each of the four lines in the hollow "X," making a complete "X" of white lines with a very eye-catching spider colored bright yellow on a field of black or variegated red white and yellow stripes forming its center.

I saw this spider in my mom's yard and I had to break out the macro lens. The spider didn't seem to mind me bringing my camera and lens within an inch of her body to get this shot. =)


Anonymous said...

I admire orb weaver webs outside my apt., and conversely don't care for the spinny fluff and deposited exoskeletons from my resident daddy long legs.
This had me look at spiders in another way, yet again.
Thanks for the photo and the info.