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Archive for August 9th, 2013

Close view of a female Argiope aurantia garden spider

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Argiope aurantia Orbweaver Spider 1894

The date was July 20th, the place a tributary of Bull Creek in northwest Austin: within sight of the red dragonfly in yesterday’s post I found a black and yellow garden spider, Argiope aurantia. The female, shown here, is large, conspicuous, and therefore easy to identify.

If you’re looking for a good word to drop into a conversation at the next party you go to, try stabilimentum, which is the name given to the vertical white zigzag so noticeable in this spider’s web. Scientists have speculated about the purpose of the stabilimentum, but the weaver’s not telling. She’s also not saying why she usually hangs head-down.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 9, 2013 at 6:21 AM

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