|Banded Argiope with prey. Note the legs are held in four neat pairs and it sits with its head down in the web.|
|Black and Yellow Argiope. Such spectacular markings and fantastic colour. This spider was about 2 inches including leg span. The thick, white, zigzag stabilimenta can be seen here running through the centre of the photo.|
|Banded Argiope with dinner.|
- They are a good sized spider, with a body length ranging between 15 and 25 mm.
- Argiopes have a thick zigzag weaved into their webs. This is called a stabilimenta. The function of the stabilimentum in webs is not exactly known. Initially, it was believed that its function was to help stabilize the web. This is not widely accepted anymore. More popular theories are that stabilimentum serve to help camouflage the spider or that the thick, visible zigzag pattern helps to warn bigger unwanted guests that there is a web in their way. The fewer times a spider has to rebuild its web the better! For more info on some of the different theories, check out this link: http://www.bugsinthenews.com/stabilimentum_and_some_notions_on%20function.htm
- After the black and yellow ariope male mates with the female, it dies. The female then eats him. This is known as "sexual cannibalism" or male self sacrifice. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_cannibalism, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argiope_aurantia
- The latin name for the black and yellow argiope is Argiope aurantia
- The latin name for the banded argiope is Argiope trifasciata