Random Arachnid: Banded argiopes at dawn

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Webs built by banded argiopes (Araneae: Araneidae: Argiope trifasciata). Photographed 09/24/2013 near Clayton, Michigan.

Spider webs are far more visible when they’re covered with dew, and this morning I saw scores of them filling the low foliage of a local meadow.

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Web built by a banded argiope (Araneae: Araneidae: Argiope trifasciata). Photographed 09/24/2013 near Clayton, Michigan.

Although many different spiders build many different kinds of webs (and some don’t build webs at all), it’s orb webs like these that most people probably think of as “typical” spider webs. These particular structures are built by individuals in several spider families, but they’re most often associated with orb weavers (Araneidae).

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Banded argiope (Araneae: Araneidae: Argiope trifasciata) photographed 09/24/2013 near Clayton, Michigan.

The webs I observed appeared to have been built by banded argiopes (AraneaeAraneidaeArgiope trifasciata). Large females were resting in the middle of many of them, still sluggish in the cold morning air.

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Banded argiope (Araneae: Araneidae: Argiope trifasciata) photographed 09/24/2013 near Clayton, Michigan.

These spiders are widespread throughout much of North America. As shown here, mature adults are particularly common in old fields and meadows in the late summer and autumn. Several similar species are also widespread in similar environments, especially black-and-yellow argiopes (AraneaeAraneidaeArgiope aurantia).

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Entomology, Invertebrate Zoology and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Random Arachnid: Banded argiopes at dawn

  1. Mike Powell says:

    I love the feeling of seeing a group of spider webs at dawn. Last year I would see lots of them at my local marsh, but for some reason, they seem to be really rare this year (they were from the black-and-yellow argiopes as far as I could tell).

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  2. navery101 says:

    The field of webs is especially wonderful!

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  3. Jeremy Sell says:

    It was pretty striking to see so many webs covering that meadow at dawn. Spiders densely populate many areas, and that photo really drove that idea home.

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  4. Jeremy Sell says:

    It’s a little creepy to consider I walk through meadows like this all the time, and then to see so many of these large, scary-looking spiders inhabiting them.

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  5. Stunning captures! Love the dew covered spiderswebs!

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