Years ago, on a drizzly autumn day in November we encountered a very fancy looking largish spider out in the garden. We'd never seen one before. We took photos of it. And then we spent the next several years wondering what kind of spider it was.
While out in the garden on Monday, I finally encountered another one. With her backend measuring about 1/2 inch in length she was hard to miss as she moved through some weeds that I had just cut down. I didn't have my camera with me, but studied her for quite some time so I could go inside later and use the internet to finally make a positive indentification.
Thanks to www.InsectIdentification.org I finally identified her species. She's a banded garden spider!
Today, I was back out in the garden working in the same general area and spotted another one (or maybe the same one). This time I went in and got my camera. I'm glad I did.
Here's some interesting facts I found out about this elusive spider:
- Banded garden spiders (Argiope trifasciata) start to appear during the Autumn when temperatures start dropping
- They are orb-weavers that produce large conspicuous webs amongst shrubbery and vegetation
- They can weave a web 2 feet in diameter
- Just like Charlotte's web in Charlotte's Web, the banded garden spider's web is very concentric--the quintessential spider's web
- And also like in Charlotte's Web, banded garden "spiderlings" get around by "ballooning"--being carried on breezes that catch the silken threads the spiders produce
- Banded garden spiders are a great predator to have in your garden because their webs catch lots of flying insects that you don't want