The yellow and black garden spider, also known as the Black and Yellow Argiope spider, is a common and harmless spider throughout the southern United States. With characteristic markings, it is a colourful addition to any garden.
Yellow and black garden spiders typically inhabit fields, woodlands and gardens. They usually weave their webs across spaces between shrubs, bushes and low trees.
The body of the spider has characteristic black and bright yellow spots across the abdomen. The head is usually grey or black and the legs are black with red or yellow bands.
The male spider measures for 1/4 to 3/8 inch in length. The female is usually much larger, measuring up to 1 1/8 inches long.
A beneficial insect, the yellow and black garden spider feeds primarily on flying insect pests including flies, moths, wasps and mosquitoes.
Yellow and black garden spiders are orb weavers, producing the classic, netlike webs with radiating spokes and an overlaying spiral pattern working from the centre outward. When finished making the web, the spider rests in its centre.
Female yellow and black garden spiders are much larger than males, with a broader abdomen. Male spiders often weave a long, zigzag pattern in one section of the web to identify themselves as males.