WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY – ENCHANTED FOREST PARK, FL
The above photograph was taken with a Nikon D90 and Nikkor 60mm lens in Enchanted Forest Park in North Miami, Florida. The subject is that of a Black and Yellow Garden Spider, technically known as Argiope aurantia.
Black and Yellow Garden Spider Trivia:
The spider species Argiope aurantia is commonly known as the Black and Yellow Garden Spider, Writing Spider, Banana Spider or Corn Spider. It is common to the lower 48 of the United States, Hawaii, southern Canada, Mexico, and Central America. They have distinctive yellow and black markings on their abdomens and a mostly white cephalothorax. Males range from 5 to 9 mm; females from 19 to 28 mm. Like other members of Argiope they are considered harmless to humans.
Garden Spiders often build webs in areas adjacent to open sunny fields where they stay concealed and protected from the wind. The spider can also be found along the eaves of houses and outbuildings or in any tall vegetation where they can securely stretch a web. The circular part of the female’s web may reach two feet in diameter. Webs are built at elevations from two to eight feet off the ground.
Female Argiope aurantia spiders tend to be somewhat local, often staying in one place throughout much of their lifetime.
Females of the species are the most commonly seen in gardens. Their webs are usually characterized by a ‘Z’ shaped line in the middle extending vertically. They spend most of their time in their webs waiting for prey to become ensnared. When prey becomes caught in the web it will usually undulate the web back and forth to further trap the insect. When the prey is secure it will kill it by injecting its venom and then wrap the prey in a cocoon of silk for later consumption.