Beneficials in the Garden: Yellow Garden Spiders

I was just asking Tree if she had noticed any of my favorite black and yellow garden spiders in the garden this year. I hadn’t noticed any Argiope aurantias (even their name is gorgeous) and missed seeing their big sturdy webs spun between stands of Echinacea.

The very next day I went to turn the water on and saw a beautiful specimen right by the water faucet. Delighted, I welcomed her (only the females have the striking black and yellow coloring) and went to get the camera. She was nonstop busy catching huge grasshoppers that made the mistake of getting entangled in her web.

You can still see the grasshopper's face underneath the spider's silk.

These spiders are so amazing. They can take prey up to 200% of their own size and will eat a variety of insects night and day from aphids to flies to grasshoppers (which is what I usually see in their nests). They’re not considered dangerous and are unlikely to bite unless harassed. Unfortunately, they can also be predated on by birds, lizards and dauber wasps.

I welcome all spiders -they are amazing insectivores, but if you lean towards the arachnophobic, try to give these beneficials space in your garden, you might be surprised  at what good garden companions they are.

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2 Responses to Beneficials in the Garden: Yellow Garden Spiders

  1. Zoe says:

    How wonderful! I just found one in a clump of iris a couple of days ago… This morning’s entertainment is scheduled to be throwing something tender and innocent into the web to be consumed. That’s a great picture of yours with grasshopper… There is something really special about a garden spider.

  2. Ha Zoe! Fun for the whole family! Poor grasshopper.

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