Photo of the Week: Black and Yellow
I’m aware that I skipped a couple of Photos of the Week during our roofing project, so let’s just get right into it.
I’m lucky that neither of us are afraid of spiders, because look what I found behind the house today:
Yes, it is a cruddy cell phone picture, since that’s all I had with me to take a photo of this stunning lady. Here’s one of its less-blurry spider-sisters:
So what is this lovely specimen, that has me humming Wiz Khalifa’s first single? It’s a black and yellow argiope spider! I had never even heard of it, so I’ll let the experts from Minnesota Extension Services give the 411:
Big black and yellow spiders in the center of webs have been commonly observed late in the summer. These spiders belong to the family called orb weavers (Araneidae). A common species in this group is the black and yellow argiope (ar-JYE-o-pee) spider, Argiope aurantia. Also known as the “garden spider,” this arachnid has a body length up to 1 inch long. Including the legs, it can be over several inches long. This is a strikingly colored spider with a black body and yellow markings on its abdomen. This spider is often found building its web in gardens or in tall grass.
Because of its size, some people assume that a black and yellow argiope spider is dangerous to people. In reality, it is a shy spider (as nearly all spiders are). It stays in its web and could only move slowly on the ground if it fell out of it. It has poor vision, even for a spider. It would be very unlikely to bite people. If this spider did accidently bite someone, the injury would not be worse then a bee sting. This spider is not dangerous to people and should be left alone.
Aww, it actually sounds kind of cute! Well, as I said, neither of us suffer from arachnophobia, so we just stared at our little neighbor and snapped a few cruddy cell phone pictures of her, then left her to her devices. May she live long and eat plenty of garden pests.
[UPDATE 8/30/11: I took new photos of our lovely lady spider, see below. Yes, she is still in exactly the same spot as when I published this post two weeks ago. Guess the hunting must be pretty good over there.]