|Banded Garden Orb-web Spider (Argiope trifasciata).|
This beautiful spider belongs to the Araneidae family of spiders. Argiope is one of the most familiar genera of orb-web spiders. Being diurnal, garden spiders are colourfully marked, the carapace silver and the legs banded. The aposematic (warning) yellow and black colouration of the abdomen remind birds that they are unpalatable. The Argiope web normally has two zig-zag bands of silk radiating outwards from the hub (centre) to the bottom corners of the web. There may be four of these bands in some species while some juveniles may construct a spiral. These are called “stabilimenta” and serve various functions: they stabilize and strengthen the web, make the web visible perhaps serving as a decoy for birds, or also to reflect ultraviolet light thereby deceiving and attracting insects.
Text: Norman Larsen.
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