My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Visiting My Neighbors Spider

Garden Spider
Writing Spider

The past week I have found every reason in the book to head over to my neighbor’s house to chat. First day was to discuss how his holiday went . . . . second day was to talk about work things . . . . third day was about the Yankee game that I could hear in the background . . . . ect . . . . but the truth is that all I really wanted to do is to check how his Garden Spider was doing! (is that bad??) These are without a doubt my all time favorite spiders!!

Garden Spider
Back side of her web!

I have always called these guys Garden Spiders but I believe its proper name is “Black-and-Yellow Argiope Spider”. One of my professors in school always called them “Writing Spiders” because of the unique pattern that they weaved into their web. I have heard from scientist the many reasons why this spider (whatever you call it) would make its unique zigzag marking. It is very possible that these zigzags help with the structure of the web when capturing insects twice its size. Another theory is that it actually helps attract some of its prey looking for a place to land. But, the best theory I have heard is that it keeps birds from flying through it. When researching this spider, I came across a website that had a dead monarch in the web! Ugg!

Anyone else have any cool spiders in your or your neighbors yard?

19 responses

  1. Marg

    Those guys are BIG-too bad about the Monarch but we were out today and they are still everywhere up here-there were hundreds around the goldenrod.

    Good thing I don’t have Arachnophobia!

    7 September 2007 at 9:10 pm

  2. Tom,

    I have a cool spider posted just yesterday from my flower pot that I am trying to id. Any help would be appreciated.

    Also, how big is your spider?

    7 September 2007 at 10:12 pm

  3. I have seen some cool spiders recently but didn’t get any photos. Darn!

    7 September 2007 at 10:59 pm

  4. I have a ton of spiders in my garden. Want some?
    I was told that because I live so close to the lake is why we get a lot of spiders. I have no clue about this.
    Because we have spiders we also have those silver fish that eat them.

    7 September 2007 at 11:11 pm

  5. Ha, I was just admiring this spider last night when I looked up in my field guide another one that I caught in my room. It’s very pretty and I love the net pattern. My spider turned out to be some sort of Forest Wolf Spider – it had very pretty green reflective eyes when I looked at it with a flashlight in the dark. But I have to say, I very much prefer spiders outside of my room!

    7 September 2007 at 11:27 pm

  6. Nancy and Sarah Hurst

    We surely hope that ALL the spiders are in our neighbors yard!!!!

    7 September 2007 at 11:50 pm

  7. Cool spider.
    We love spiders…
    I do have many in my gardens too.

    8 September 2007 at 12:06 am

  8. That spider is almost as cool as a bird…….almost! 🙂

    8 September 2007 at 12:27 am

  9. That spider web is interesting. I’ll have to look around the yard for spiders.

    8 September 2007 at 6:11 am

  10. Oh yeah! I call these ‘garden spiders’ too! Can I meet your neighbor? Or at least his spider?? LOL!!

    8 September 2007 at 10:08 am

  11. If this is the same spider I am thinking, we used to call these corn spiders, they lived in between the rows in corn and tobacco fields. Once as a lad I was cutting tobacco and got a real nasty bite from one after getting tangled in it’s web, we both lived, but it wasn’t a pleasant experience.

    8 September 2007 at 10:33 am

  12. @ Marg – they are very large! Thanks!
    @ Trixie – will go check after posting this! This is a biggie one!
    @ Liz – no photos?
    @ Toni – nope you can keep them! Like I said, this is my neighbors spider!
    @ Marie – they seem to be everywhere right now! Wolf Spider! Ooo Yeck! Thanks for the details!
    @ Nancy and Sarah – that’s the best place to have them!
    @ Sherry – gets rid of many of the bugs!
    @ Birdfreak – butterflies are cooler than spiders but birds are cooler than birds! But, I agree with ya!
    @ Barb – thanks!
    @ Pam – if it’s still around!
    @ Bernie – never explored corn spiders but I know that I wouldn’t want this thing bitting me! I bet it made you sick at least!

    8 September 2007 at 12:48 pm

  13. We’ve been seeing lots of spiders lately. One took up residence on a sunflower and neatly created its web by pulling in a few petals to make a nice little secret space to catch a few unsuspecting insects.

    8 September 2007 at 12:50 pm

  14. What an awesome spider. I love it. When we were little we called this kind a banana spider. nita

    8 September 2007 at 4:28 pm

  15. Sorry I missed your Garden Spider! The one I watched for a week is gone. Don’t know why…

    10 September 2007 at 8:57 am

  16. I’ve got to be honest. I am creeped out by spiders, but do still find them interesting.-I’ve seen some good ones, I should take photos of them i guess.

    10 September 2007 at 6:56 pm

  17. Those zig zag markings or writing on the web of the garden or writing spider do indeed have a function that is no longer a theory. See : Eisner(2003), For Love of Insects,{Belknap-Harvard U.Press} pp 222-229, for a facinating account of experimental proof of the function .

    10 September 2007 at 10:11 pm

  18. @ Robin – very interesting way of catching those bugs, thanks!
    @ Nita – thanks and I like that banana spider name!
    @ Mary – No worries and they are fun to watch! Hmm, never checked to see if it was still their today!
    @ Larry – They are just spiders?? Only kidding and they are important as many other critters we have.
    @ cestoady – will have to find that publication! Thanks for the info!

    10 September 2007 at 11:21 pm

  19. Hi Tom,
    I sometimes see these spiders and their huge webs as I’m mowing around my big evergreen trees. They’re usually about eye level when I’m on the mower and fortunately I spot them just before I drive into the web. They make beautiful webs, but I try not to get too close because those spiders are SO HUGE!

    11 September 2007 at 9:22 pm

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