Thursday, August 15, 2013

Garden Spider

Not long ago I stepped onto my front porch and was confronted by a large spider. The black and gold garden spider (Argiope Aurantia) had built its distinctive web attached to a porch post. The thick zigzag down the center of the web is known as a stabilimentum. Apparently, even biologists are unsure of its function.

The next day the spider was gone. Too bad...he (or she) was quite a decoration.

Our current Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of Infant & Childhood Mortality on Ocracoke. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous5:58 AM

    a.k.a. writing spider

  2. Anonymous8:03 AM

    Amazing, it was expecting a porch side chat I suppose. This reminds me, I haven't seen many "banana spiders" this summer.

  3. Anonymous5:37 PM

    I recall coming across one of those as a kid and spending some time examining it, even letting it crawl on our hands. Probably not advisable, but...

    We also used to catch little brown bats in empty large-mouthed peanut butter jars when we'd spy the bats roosting behind the shutters on our house. Always practiced capture and release in our adventures.

    Don't recall ever seeing one of those "banana" spiders (as we called them, too) on Ocracoke. You previously noted, Philip, that you came upon a black widow? Are they somewhat common on the island? Ive only heard of rare instances of them here in SW PA. Reading a book now about the Dust Bowl, "The Worst Hard Times," I guess they were pretty prevalent in the TX/OK panhandle. We're Ocracoke-bound this Sunday. I'll settle for encountering nothing more exciting than this photo of the banana spider.

    Thanks, as always.

    1. Some years ago, while preparing for a hurricane, I was crawling under the house getting lumber out. A little later I noticed a black widow spider crawling up my pants leg. But I'm thankful it is rare to encounter them.

      I recently read "The worst Hard Times." It was excellent.