Photo by Melody

Writing Spider, Scribbler, Black and Yellow Argiope (Argiope aurantia)

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Order: Araneae (ah-RAY-nee-ee) (Info)
Family: Araneidae (ar-ray-NEE-ih-dee) (Info)
Genus: Argiope (ar-JY-oh-pee) (Info)
Species: aurantia (aw-RAN-tee-a) (Info)

Profile:

55 positives
12 neutrals
2 negatives

Regional...

This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Bessemer, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama
Prattville, Alabama
Vincent, Alabama
Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas
Marion, Arkansas
Mountain Home, Arkansas
Pangburn, Arkansas
Sherwood, Arkansas
Wynne, Arkansas
Calistoga, California
Los Angeles, California
Mission Viejo, California
Sacramento, California
San Diego, California
Woodland Hills, California
East Canaan, Connecticut
Bear, Delaware
Ellendale, Delaware
Ocean View, Delaware
Bartow, Florida
Englewood, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Lake Placid, Florida
Lutz, Florida
Molino, Florida
North Port, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Orlando, Florida (2 reports)
Sebring, Florida
Barnesville, Georgia
Bethlehem, Georgia
Bowdon, Georgia
Braselton, Georgia
Cumming, Georgia
Dacula, Georgia
Decatur, Georgia (2 reports)
Gainesville, Georgia
Lithonia, Georgia
Rincon, Georgia
Silver Creek, Georgia
Snellville, Georgia
Vidalia, Georgia
Woodstock, Georgia
Madison, Illinois
Round Lake, Illinois
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Macy, Indiana
Ogden, Iowa
Peabody, Kansas
Wichita, Kansas
Benton, Kentucky
Erlanger, Kentucky
Ewing, Kentucky
Hebron, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Kingfield, Maine
Limington, Maine
Skowhegan, Maine
Ellicott City, Maryland
Galena, Maryland
Glen Burnie, Maryland
Hagerstown, Maryland
Millersville, Maryland
Hudson, Massachusetts
Nantucket, Massachusetts
Peabody, Massachusetts
Birch Run, Michigan
Dexter, Michigan
Jackson, Michigan
Mount Pleasant, Michigan
Port Huron, Michigan
Albertville, Minnesota
Little Falls, Minnesota
Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Jackson, Mississippi
Meridian, Mississippi
Cole Camp, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri
O Fallon, Missouri
Saint Robert, Missouri
Marlton, New Jersey
Red Bank, New Jersey
Binghamton, New York
Breezy Point, New York
Dansville, New York
Himrod, New York
Mechanicville, New York
Nanuet, New York
Schenectady, New York
Smithtown, New York
South Salem, New York
Yonkers, New York
Beulaville, North Carolina
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Concord, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Elon College, North Carolina
Harbinger, North Carolina
High Point, North Carolina (2 reports)
Huntersville, North Carolina
Lexington, North Carolina
Matthews, North Carolina
Morehead City, North Carolina
Nashville, North Carolina
Oxford, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina (3 reports)
Sanford, North Carolina
Stanfield, North Carolina
Thomasville, North Carolina (2 reports)
Wilson, North Carolina
Winston Salem, North Carolina (2 reports)
Bismarck, North Dakota
Beachwood, Ohio
Fairborn, Ohio
Geneva, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
Yellow Springs, Ohio
Arcadia, Oklahoma
Elk City, Oklahoma
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Norman, Oklahoma
Stilwell, Oklahoma
Eagle Point, Oregon
Forest Grove, Oregon
Gold Hill, Oregon
Silverton, Oregon
Springfield, Oregon
Tualatin, Oregon
Cabot, Pennsylvania
Everett, Pennsylvania
Meshoppen, Pennsylvania
Republic, Pennsylvania
Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania
Warwick, Rhode Island
Campobello, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina (4 reports)
Conway, South Carolina
Gaston, South Carolina
Greer, South Carolina
Lexington, South Carolina
Saint Matthews, South Carolina
Seneca, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Arlington, Tennessee
Brentwood, Tennessee
Cleveland, Tennessee
Elizabethton, Tennessee
Friendsville, Tennessee
Hendersonville, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee
La Follette, Tennessee
Mc Donald, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee (2 reports)
Wartburg, Tennessee
Bastrop, Texas
Bryan, Texas
Buffalo, Texas
Carrollton, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Driftwood, Texas
Elgin, Texas
Flower Mound, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas (2 reports)
Grapevine, Texas
Kaufman, Texas
Leander, Texas
Lufkin, Texas
Mabank, Texas
Magnolia, Texas
Marble Falls, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas (2 reports)
Nevada, Texas
New Caney, Texas
Pipe Creek, Texas
Richmond, Texas
Shepherd, Texas
Spring, Texas
Spring Branch, Texas
Springtown, Texas (2 reports)
Tomball, Texas
Wharton, Texas
Bedford, Virginia
Buena Vista, Virginia
Danville, Virginia
Lynchburg, Virginia
Norfolk, Virginia (2 reports)
Roanoke, Virginia
Springfield, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
Washougal, Washington
Huntington, West Virginia
Sussex, Wisconsin

By melody
Thumbnail #1 of Writing Spider, Scribbler, Black and Yellow Argiope (Argiope aurantia) by melody

By melody

Thumbnail #2 of Writing Spider, Scribbler, Black and Yellow Argiope (Argiope aurantia) by melody

By Scorpioangel

Thumbnail #3 of Writing Spider, Scribbler, Black and Yellow Argiope (Argiope aurantia) by Scorpioangel

By princessnonie

Thumbnail #4 of Writing Spider, Scribbler, Black and Yellow Argiope (Argiope aurantia) by princessnonie

By Sheila965

Thumbnail #5 of Writing Spider, Scribbler, Black and Yellow Argiope (Argiope aurantia) by Sheila965

By Sheila965

Thumbnail #6 of Writing Spider, Scribbler, Black and Yellow Argiope (Argiope aurantia) by Sheila965

By ceejaytown

Thumbnail #7 of Writing Spider, Scribbler, Black and Yellow Argiope (Argiope aurantia) by ceejaytown

There are a total of 128 photos.
Click here to view them all!

Member Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive melody On Jul 25, 2006, melody from Benton, KY
(Zone 7a) wrote:

This is a very large and intimidating looking spider, but in reality, it's a great bug catcher, and rarely leaves its web.

The female's body can be nearly 1 1/2" long not counting the legs. The male, who is rarely seen, is much smaller, between 1/4" and 3/8". He is not as brightly colored, and only has one purpose in life.

The female spins the large web with the distinctive zig-zag down the middle, and is the one people see in their gardens.

While this spider is seen all across the US and southern Canada, it isn't common in the Rocky Mountains and the Canadian Great Basin area.

Because of it's large web, that it maintains by eating it each evening and spinning a new one before dawn, people have come to enjoy them in their out of the way garden areas and co-exist with them easily.

Here's a link to an article that I wrote about these spiders:
http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/216/

Positive DawninTx On Jul 26, 2006, DawninTx from Nevada, TX
(Zone 8a) wrote:

I am always happy to find these spiders in my yard. I have been known to catch grasshoppers and gently toss them into this spider's web. Love the spider, hate the grasshoppers.

Positive patp On Jul 26, 2006, patp from Summerville, SC
(Zone 8a) wrote:

We had 6 writing spider egg sacks overwinter in one of our camelia bushes and looked forward to seeing some adults in the Spring. We're still looking ................ perhaps they were too close to the bird feeders. Oh, DH said he saw little spiders in the bush, along with anoles who probably ate them.

Positive Sheila965 On Aug 15, 2006, Sheila965 from Rincon, GA
(Zone 8a) wrote:

These spiders are among my favorite to watch. Their colorful bodies and creative web designs are amazing. Plus, they move VERY fast. So far, every night, the spider has torn down her web and moved. A male showed up yesterday. ;-)

Positive sallyg On Aug 21, 2006, sallyg from Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b) wrote:

Seem very hard to predict whether and where you'll get one here. Had four egg sacks one fall and didn't find one spider the following spring. They have never made us a web across an opening, unlike some huge fat brown ones we usually find around August, in the evenings around the yard.

Positive QueenB On Aug 22, 2006, QueenB from Shepherd, TX
(Zone 8b) wrote:

I have two "sisters" I've been nurturing since this spring, and they've caught many different things in their webs, which they've occasionally moved. They've spent most of their lives in and around the greenhouse, keeping down the bug population without a problem. They've mostly caught Junebugs, which are pretty hard eating for a spider. I found one egg sac so far, but it was after it had already baked in the closed greenhouse. They're both in excellent health and fat as can be! I hope to have a crop of new babies in the spring.

Positive deanzgurll On Aug 24, 2006, deanzgurll from Ogden, IA wrote:

I have this spider everywhere; from the outside of the house to my veg garden. It seems particularly fond of tomatoe plants and will even eat those big green tomatoe horn worms. My only problem with it is, there are so many I sometimes inadvertently stick my hand in a web. The spider seems unperturbed by this however, and neither climbs toward or away from my interruption of it's web. I have several web sacks too.

Positive ourfarm On Sep 3, 2006, ourfarm from Friendsville, TN wrote:

I always know fall is either upon us, or nearly so, when the Writing Spiders appear. And, I always seem to have lots of them around the outside of my house. They are awesome! The old wive's tale says your days are numbered if the writing spider ever spells out your name in her web. Or, as I've heard it told, "If the Writing Spider spells your name, you're a dead man!" :-O

Neutral Danielle2459 On Sep 5, 2006, Danielle2459 from Yellow Springs, OH wrote:

This exact spider last year bit my mother in the back yard. Now today have seen another one and sprayed it down with 409 instantly....being that it was the closest thing to save us... and we have it in baggy now... Thank heavens. I will send in a picture this weekend however both times they have came out from our hosta plants. (Which we have many of... hope not to run into anymore anytime soon!!) We need to find something to keep them away since we have young children.

Positive snookybird1986 On Sep 8, 2006, snookybird1986 from Nanuet, NY wrote:

This morning my children spotted (charlotte) in her web.
I have never seen such a spider in New York. Its amazing! I just afraid it might bite the children. I have taken some pictures and would like to post them.

Thank You

Marie from NY

Neutral claypa On Oct 18, 2006, claypa from West Pottsgrove, PA
(Zone 6b) wrote:

This is NOT the spider in the book, "Charlotte's Web". Charlotte introduces herself as A. cavaticus, or Araneus cavaticus, a Barn Spider, which is very common in Hancock County, Maine USA, where the book was written and the fair that the book is based on still takes place every Labor Day holiday weekend. It's in Blue Hill Maine, where the author EB White had a home. Sorry, Charlotte was ugly!

Neutral blue_cherry On Jun 20, 2007, blue_cherry from Vancouver, BC wrote:

Attn Danielle2459 and anyone else who's ever 'terminated' a beneficial bug:

There are many beneficial bugs who will react defensively if disturbed in a fashion that makes them feel threatened. The Argiopes are NON-toxic and from what I've read and personally experienced, it's practically unheard of for them to bite. Consider the 'BEE'; if they feel harrassed or threatened, they'll sting---otherwise they just go about their BUZZness.

I love watching bees at work--and I love garden spiders--the bigger the better. I frequently go on 'Bug Safaris' to capture the beneficial ones (e.g., spiders, ladybugs, ladybug larvae, etc.) and release them onto the balcony for them to perform their respective jobs.

I'm sorry that your mom was bitten, although it's also possible that she got pierced by one of the spines on the Argiope's legs. I think it's a sign of ignorance to willy-nilly exterminate these creatures just because one appears to have defended itself. What a lot of bug-fearing people do with spiders and other crawlies that they abhor is either gently pick them up with a tissue or something and relocate them; or, if you can't abide even a tissue's breadth of distance between yourself and the spider, you can--also using some gentle material or tool (like a wooden spoon or a Qtip, for example)--gently maneuver them into a container of some sort, and then transport them to a location where they can continue to do their thing and you feel unharrassed!

It's baaaaad to kill these things for reasons pointed out by many others who added comments here. Also, apropos of children, they should be taught to understand and RESPECT these critters, not to FEAR them. They should be taught to understand that these creatures are fragile, not toys, and that they have their place on our planet, just as we do.

Co-existence, tolerance and understanding are some of the key words here. Some of you folks probably think I'm way-over-the-top here, but I can't help it! I'm passionate about educating humans to learn about and coexist with our fellow other-species---particularly the beneficial ones!

Neutral JayneP On Jun 26, 2007, JayneP from Tomball, TX
(Zone 9a) wrote:

The first time I saw this spider, it terrified me! It's web was spun between two trees and I came upon it while I was out horseback riding. It was quite scary to see such a large spider right at eye level when you are on a horse!.

I didn't even know what it was, but when I found one on my patio a couple of days ago, I did a web search and found the information and pictures here.

Looks like I have a female living on my patio and I am happy to share it with her :)

Positive stewie3107 On Jul 31, 2007, stewie3107 from MCKINNEY, TX
(Zone 8a) wrote:

I have to say that these spiders are a bit intimidating at first but I have really grown accustomed to having them around. I have 1 female that hangs out on the side of my house. She has a nice set up right under the eave of the house. It's fascinating watching her web get bigger and bigger as she does too.
Now there is an egg sac that came yesterday. I'm not too sure about it but I will see what mother nature does.

Positive pjsposies On Aug 5, 2007, pjsposies from Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a) wrote:

I just saw my first Argiope and it is one of the largest spiders I have ever seen. She is HUGE and beautiful. I grew up around scorpions and tarantulas and I kill nothing without finding out what it is unless it's stalkng me and on the verge of devouring me.
I just read that one of the prey of this spider is the grasshopper. I saw a stink bug in her web. I'll be doing a lot of gardening tomorrow and I do believe she will find some treats in her web.
My son found a Golden Orb once and when we moved he brought her with us. He would put bugs in her web for her. One day he came in and told me she had eggs. I knew he was fixing to experience "Charlotte's Web" firsthand. He did and was quite sad but I explained they are all a small part of the one he cared for so much.
People should not be so quick to run for the poison even if bitten. Do a little research. If you threatened me I would bite you also but I am not detrimental!

Positive akitaman1 On Aug 12, 2007, akitaman1 from Bessemer, AL
(Zone 7b) wrote:

i saw my first writing spiders since moving from north carolina 7 years ago. they have made a home in my tomatoes. and okra patch. i guess i want pick as much of those veggies as i thought i would. just a small scarifice i have to make to enjoy such a wonderful insect.

Positive winebee1 On Aug 12, 2007, winebee1 from Frost, TX wrote:

We have 2 of these wonderful spiders nesting on our back porch right now. One has laid a sack and we expect the other will do so soon. My husband catches grasshoppers for them, which they love. And we're glad to be rid of as many grasshoppers as we can. We have very few of the "pesky" insects, since these lovely ladies have chosen to live on our porch.
We need to learn which insects are beneficial and work with Mother Nature as much as we can. I'm trying to teach my grandchildren to do this, since they will be the ones to inherit whatever is left of this planet earth. People who rampantly destroy what they fear or don't understand will be the first to complain when the world they know goes to hell in a hand basket.
Thank you for this informative site.

Positive MelisLongIsland On Aug 31, 2007, MelisLongIsland from Smithtown, NY wrote:

Hello. I am from Long Island, New York - Smithtown is the name of my town, but many people haven't ever heard of Long Island. We have the great Hamptons! haha...

I was mowing my lawn, and I saw this huge thing jump! I thought it was a spider, but figured it couldn't be because of the size. It's large. I wish I could get a good enough picture of it to upload. It's so beautiful. I walked up the block to ask my neighbors, and they had no idea, so I came inside to look it up to make sure it wasn't poisonious.

I am the kind of person who doesn't kill nature, and I'm sorry to say that I almost wanted to kill this tiny spider. I just didn't want something venomous around the house with my daughter running about, but that showcases my fear and ignorance.

I am gladly putting this little guy/girl in a new special part garden, so that it may be undisturbed from here on in.

Thank you for this website. It helped save this spider, and taught me a valuable lesson.

Be well!

Melissa
New York

(see, all downstate ny'ers aren't so bad... lol)

Positive CritZer0 On Sep 1, 2007, CritZer0 from Dallas, TX wrote:

I'm an arachniphobe. Have been for most of my life.
Two weeks ago, I joined the Texas Equu Search and Recovery group in their attempt to locate a missing person (my wife's cousin). We were searching pastures and treed creeklines in central Texas (Normangee), and while doing so we repeatedly encountered these spiders hanging from the trees. Scared me silly, honestly, but we kept looking anyway.

In the 2 weeks since we've been back in Dallas, I've seen 2 of them...or possibly the same one moved from bushes at the curb to my Dining Room window.
I've uploaded her picture.
As long as she's on the other side of glass, I can get a good look at her, and I'm happy to let her keep her web near the house, but I can guarantee you that I'm not going to be tending the flower bed beneath her web any time soon. d8'>

Neutral CHudnall On Sep 8, 2007, CHudnall from Sebring, FL
(Zone 9a) wrote:

We have been fortunate in years past, and I hope will be this year too, to have these magical creatures in our yard.

Last year I quit counting after 48! They seem to love our Confederate Jasmine bush and the old realty sign post that it is growing around. We were awarded with being able to watch a particular one that always was in the same spot, we watched as she grew from a juvenile still in her circular stabilimentum to adult being courted by not one male but two!

She certainly had her web-full of activity as the two males faced off, one on one side of the web feet touching the other one on the other side of the web. It was fascinating to watch. Then one morning after watching all this take place for about 4 days, both males were gone.

If you watch them closely, depending on how close you are, we learned that they will start 'thumping' their web, not sure if this is meant to intimidate or to warn, but either way, you know she isn't happy.

Positive Druby On Sep 9, 2007, Druby from Memphis, TN wrote:

We found this lovely spider about a month ago in our flowerbed next to our front porch. I have been very surprised that she has been there so long. Ours seems to be a little aggressive. When we walk out toward the web, she immeadiately scurries to the upper left edge by a column on our porch, like she is trying to get leverage to jump, but stops. She waits until we go back inside before she returns to the center. It was almost like she could "see" us. The front door is a good ways away from her. I notice when our dog walks by the web, she doesn't move. Earlier this week, I went out to look and she did the same. Later, someone was at my door and we looked at her again and then she started the "bouncing" of her web but didn't scurry to the top. I was so glad to find this site. Thanks for all the information. I will try to get a pic and upload it. I noticed you didn't have one of these in the Memphis, TN area. Now you do!

Positive zeemolly On Sep 10, 2007, zeemolly from Woodland Hills, CA wrote:

We just discovered this magnificent spider in our backyard in Woodland Hills, California! We all gathered round to admire its dramatic beauty! The zig zag web was immediately noted -- and we took care to check that none of our names were spelled out in her magnificent web! She was as still as can be -- enough so that we got several rather spectacular pictures which I hope to be able to share in due course. Who is the moron who, assured of its benignity, could even think let alone act to harm this wonderful creature? Alas, for us all! 409? Save us!

Positive shotgunsally On Sep 10, 2007, shotgunsally from Birch Run, MI wrote:

I've noticed that this site doesn't have any information on this spider being in Michigan.....however, we have had two beautiful ones and babies in our bushes since late July and have enjoyed watching them. They haven't moved anywhere, except when my husband accidently moved some of the bushes. One was black and lean, the other was brown and very round......same markings though.
I will admit that after 38 years of living in Michigan, I have never seen this spider here before.

Positive Jetlagged40 On Sep 11, 2007, Jetlagged40 from Raleigh, NC wrote:

When I was a kid in NC some sixty years ago, we called these "Yellow Zippers" because of their color and the writing on their web. Of course they terrified us, but we never killed one nor have I to date. When I see one, it takes me back to my childhood. Neat.

Positive blaineb9 On Sep 12, 2007, blaineb9 from Elon College, NC wrote:

we have had the spiders the last three years they have grown from one to two and now we have them every where mostly females but this year we have a few males my kids have fell in love with them we feed them and go check on them daily we have gone to saving them when our dog ran though the web of one of them

Positive spiderider On Sep 13, 2007, spiderider from Wichita, KS wrote:

I am new to blogging (is this blogging?), digital photography and bug watching, among other things. I found this critter while I was mowing my lawn. I took photos (I have others) a couple of days ago with a Kodak LS443, 4MP camera. I was amazed at how detailed the images are. I (OK, the camera!) was just a few inches away and Agatha (yes, I named the spider) was kind enough to sit still for her portrait. The next day it appeared that she was replaced by a smaller version. Are they smaller right after they molt? Do they eat the remains (which I did not find)? Or is this really another spider? I await your replies.

Two years [!] later...

Writing spider watching has become an annual event for me. Agatha, my original spider, has created a legacy--ever increasing numbers every year in my neighbor's hedge-filled garden which adjoins my property. In 2008, I watched patiently and nearly gave up but then, in late summer, I started seeing evidence of another generation. There were days that I counted perhaps a dozen of these striking creatures. Also in evidence were two egg sacs, which I was able to observe most of the winter.

Fast forward to this year [2009]. The anxiousness of my observations were tempered with the rewards I experienced during the previous season, especially since I knew that egg sacs, if not eaten by birds, meant a new generation was more certain to emerge.

Boy, did they! I counted as many as 20 in the garden that Agatha had inhabited by herself just two years earlier. The garden is an asymetrical "pie slice" measuring 23 x 25 x 19 feet, so many spiders are visible from any one angle but there is no place that allows me to view them all at once. The hedge is dense enough that observations are limited to the perimeter. Although I've never tried to handle one, I tend to believe that, unlike the negative report on this page, they are not aggressive and will more likely scurry away if they can. One of this year's "crop" would always flee to a nearby branch whenever I approached the garden from it's side. The others, even the ones closer to the edge of the garden, tended to stay put, unless, of course, something flew into her web. Then there was the nearly instantaneous "attack, bite and wrap" reaction, which was interesting to watch.

It is not my intention to discredit the bad experience of jbrinkley, the writer of the negative review below, especially the reaction to the bite. In fact, his/her experience will make me aware that caution in close proximity to these [or any] spiders is more important to safe viewing than perhaps I thought it was. Still, in my opinion, it's worth the risk.

Positive rogue_spidey On Sep 15, 2007, rogue_spidey from Jacksonville, NC wrote:

I must agree with blue_cherry on this. Nature has been and continues to be a wonderful teacher, not to mention an endless source of wonder. I take every opportunity to teach our daughter (8 years young) about the amazing complexities of nature and to maintain a healthy respect for all life.

The writing spider (Argiope Aurantia) we discovered in the garden this morning was proudly displaying her colors perched gently on a dazzling web with a freshly silk spun catch. "Very interesting."

I took a few pictures and my daughter was quite excited to simply observe from a close but safe distance. We also discovered two species of geckos in an adjacent plant.

Positive Karnie2007 On Sep 22, 2007, Karnie2007 from Omaha, NE wrote:

This spider has been reported now being seen in Omaha Nebraska... This spider is HUGE.. I agree with all the others... I captured it.. not knowing what it was.. until I looked it up... I fed it ... being nice and all.. even tho it was sooo HUGE that it didnt look deprived of nutrition... then the daughter and I let it go... what an interesting spider... the way it looked was very intimitating... but we did what nature had intended for us to do.. and let it go back into the garden....

Positive MaxGarcia On Sep 24, 2007, MaxGarcia from Frisco, TX wrote:

My Argiope appeared magically on July 4th 2007, I originally wanted to get rid of her but decided to look her up on the web. Turns out she is harmless and even if she bit, her venom is harmless to humans. I was totally amazed and intrigued with this creature's habits and how quickly she grew into a beautiful spider, I think I only saw the male one time and that was it. I've also notice other opportunistic smaller spiders build their webs on hers. Right now she had layed her eggs and her abdoment had decreased in side by 20% She seemed very exhausted and that night she didn't make a new web. The following day she did, she seem to be getting slugish as the fall progresses, I've read alot about them, and how they can live up to 2 years, I was thinking about bringing her inside for the winter and feed her crickets until next spring, but I'm still struggling with the Idea and may be just let nature do it's thing. I just hope one of the babies stay in my back yard so I can enjoy another year of fien viewing this amazing creature.

10/29/07

My spider layed another SAC!!! this one seem a bit sloppier, although big, it seems she wasn't as careful as with the first one. this one is shapped like an egg and she didn't pick the best spot for it. I will post a pic of the whole site. She hasn't spun a web in about two weeks but just sorta keep fixing the one she has currently which looks very bad. ( a sign that she may be on her way out ) More to come...

Max, McKinney, TX

Neutral asjk359 On Sep 28, 2007, asjk359 from Fairborn, OH wrote:

I found a writing spider outside my sons window this evening. I had just told him a few weeks ago that it had been years since I had seen a writing spider. We have enjoyed watching her catch some dinner tonight.

Positive carolshafer On Feb 11, 2008, carolshafer from Rockdale, TX wrote:

Family and friends have all been informed not to touch these beautiful creatures. Because I live in Rockdale, Texas we are blessed with a multitude of mosquitos and at any given time you can pass these webs and see the "lady" spinning them in her web. All mine have names. The one who lives on the back patio is Crystal and when my husband comes in and tells me he gave Crystal a grasshopper I know exactly what he is talking about.

Positive jackieblue On Aug 11, 2008, jackieblue from Vidalia, GA wrote:

Just have to tell you guys, the other day I found a huge tomato worm on my tomatoes, I threw it in my spiders web and this thing was sooooo big that the web could not hold it. As the worm tried to get away the spider came down to bite it and the worm tried to attack the spider. It fell off the web and I mashed the head before returning it to the web. The spider grows profusely, probably because I feed it about everyday. And I don't even like spiders. But, I am learning. She is fabulous to look at. I just stand there and gaze at her for periods at the time. She is sooooo amazing to watch. I think that I have had two this year could be the same one but they look totally different and the last one seems to be smaller that the first one was.

Positive 704family On Aug 22, 2008, 704family from Stanfield, NC wrote:

Our spider built his nest in the corner of our porch and we love her! She never leaves her web and just recently molted. She's a great bug catcher (I hate moths) and a beautiful addition to our patio!!

Positive LadySim54 On Aug 22, 2008, LadySim54 from Schenectady, NY wrote:

Finding this large yellow and black spider in the mist of my tomatoe plants the other day was frightening. But after looking it up on the Internet my fears were put to rest. She is just a "Garden Spider" and poses NO danger to people. Notice the Zigzag band of bright white noncapture silk known as a "stabilimentum" near the center of her web. Scientists aren't sure why she makes this tell-tale sign but some believe it's to warn birds of her web. She is also know as the "writting spider" because of this zigzag. Did you notice the neatly wrapped meal she has next to her, could that have been her mate ?

Neutral melissam30 On Aug 22, 2008, melissam30 from Mechanicville, NY wrote:

I am absolutely scared to death of spiders and will be the first one to run,today while I was winterizing the outside of my house I was in the process of moving some lawm chairs away from the back yard fence and as I was moving it I disturbed this spider,not realizing what it was at first,when I looked again,maybe 2 minutes later I saw this with it's web,the size it what captured my eye,never had I seen such a big spider before,so I quickly grabbed my cam and took some photos,mainly to look this up online to see what it was and if it was dangerous,I was glad to find it was harmless :)
I also found one by the end of the day in the front of the house and again in it's beautifull web,the web is so amazing,and I took photos of that as well as a video.I'm sure there are a whole lot more out there,I hope they cant get in the house,it does'nt bother me that they are outside but inside,I'm too afraid to deal with something that size in the house.I was glad to read other comments and learn more about them...

Positive johnnyugo On Sep 5, 2008, johnnyugo from Gaston, SC wrote:

My wife and I were laying in bed talking last night and I saw a shadow on the window over our bed, it looked like a very large spider so I peeked out the blinds and there before my eyes was the most beautiful spider I have ever seen. Black and yellow markings made it easy to look up, it was in fact a Writing Spider. I spent the remainder of the night watching her beauty, slowly weaving her web to about two feet wide. It was the most remarkable thing I have ever witnessed. Its now 5 in the morning and I hope to watch her spin her zigzag pattern in the middle. I have a few snapshots I will post later today, I hope to also get a few more shots of her and her beauty. Wish me luck!!!

Positive Quincy247 On Sep 6, 2008, Quincy247 wrote:

I love these spiders! The first one I ever remember seeing I had been falsely told was a banana spider. He/she was on one of our bushes next to our garage. But I came home one day, and apparently my Mom had sprayed it or something because she had to trim the bush. I was very upset... and now, one year later they've come back!! Luckily in a place where my Mom does not need to get to. He/she is positioned between two bushes in the back near our window- very convenient because all we have to do is open up our blinds and see what is up with our little friend. Just yesterday, I noticed what looked like a baby spider farther up. You can barely see him from the window, but if you go outside and look you can get a better view. We tried throwing a kind of grub at the net, and the spider immediately started shaking its web which was very interesting- my Dad has been very interested in the habits of these spiders as well...

My only question is, I'm not sure whether my spiders are male or female. They are all quite small so I assumed they were male. But then I read a post saying that only females made the distinctive zigzag pattern of the writing spider. If so, that means they're just young females...? I'm not sure, but any information whatsoever would be most helpful! As for right now, I think they're males, so the older one is named Quincy and the other one is named Adam!

Thank you in advance for your help! This site has been extremely helpful in the learning of these wonderful creatures!

Positive ArgiopesROCK On Sep 10, 2008, ArgiopesROCK wrote:

I have seen these in the past. I found one in particular that was apparently a happy-go-lucky. I continued to feed. She must have found a liking to me as I fed her or even got next to her she would happily move to the top of her web and wait for the pray to be latched on. (She even crawled on my arm once) She was almost exactly striped like ZZ (read my diary). Unfortunatly, she went all Charlotes' Web on me but left behind plentiful babies who hatched and began to live on her old web.

Neutral JJJJK On Sep 23, 2008, JJJJK from Red Bank, NJ wrote:

My children and I found this spider sitting in her web between our house and landscaping this afternoon. This evening we came upon this website and like detectives with a flashlight, determined she is a writing spider. What an interesting looking creature... the bright yellow color made me think she was dangerous. My kids were so impressed when we were able to figure out what kind of spider she was!

Neutral Ladyborg On Nov 9, 2008, Ladyborg from Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b) wrote:

Found this one cocooning what seemed to be another of its kind alive in my garden.

http://pics.davesgarden.com/pics/Ladyborg_1226260305_360.jpg

Positive mamakat122002 On Nov 17, 2008, mamakat122002 from Glen Burnie, MD wrote:

I have had 5 of these in my yard this past summer. Very scary to meet face to face at the wood pile in the back yard then another at the front door light fixture while changing out the bulb. I am a little girlie about spiders but understand there reason for being here.

Positive JuneyBug On Jan 30, 2009, JuneyBug from Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a) wrote:

My Mom called it "the Painted Lady of the Garden" and I have fed them all of my life. Luckily, they really seem to like my outside lights, and so, stay out of the pathways. I had one walk across my shoulder when I was a kid, and found that they have kinda' painful stickers on their legs. I move them if they are in "our" walkways because of that.

Negative jbrinkley On Jul 24, 2009, jbrinkley from Morehead City, NC wrote:

I dont know where they get the idea that these spiders are not a threat, I am here to tell you that they are. As a young girl we use to poke sticks at them and say they were writting our names in their webs, very stupid! We were going through a corn feild as kids, playing, and they had webs all across above our heads with the spiders in them. I looked at one and it was the big adult and all of a sudden it lept from it's web onto my arm and bit me. It didn't take but a minute before I started feeling very sick on my stomach and somewhat disoriented. My brothers got me back to the house and my arm in the region of the bite and further up and down was swollen 3-4 x its size with little bumps all over it. I was vomiting severley and shaking like in a shock I remember feeling very cold. My mother was a nurse but the nearest hospital was 35 miles away. She open the bite area and let the fluid run out and I don't remember much what else she did I was so out of it. After a few days of being sick and feeling like crap, I finally recovered. They had taken me to a local doctor and he might have done something, I can't remember what was happening. I WILL tell you that these things are a threat! expecially to children. Now when I see them in my yard I stay far away but I want them gone! they can get everywhere and before you know it you are walking into a web, I can't stand them and am very scared of them now. This is a real story, not made up people, keep your eye on the things!

Positive alaskanbanshee On Aug 25, 2009, alaskanbanshee from Lexington, SC wrote:

I just uploaded 2 pictures of the writing spider my husband and I have named 'Shelob'.

She made her web right near where I have to reach to turn on my outdoor water faucet. We have had a few tense moments when we have startled each other as I reach to turn on the water, but we seem to have come to an arrangement. I blow a little air her way to let her know I'm coming, and I carefully crouch down and reach past her to turn the water on and off.

95% of the time she doesn't budge. If I bump her web, she scurries up her web to the brick wall of the house.

I haven't caught her eating anything yet, but from what I've read on this site, I'm going to have to see about catching her a grasshopper sometime soon!

She has been a wonderful addition to my yard this year, especially since I have never seen anything like her, having grown up and lived most of my life in Alaska (I'm in Lexington, SC now).

If you'd like to see higher resolution pictures of her, look here: http://www.hellifino.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=427

Positive fairydustcrissy On Sep 1, 2009, fairydustcrissy from Gainesville, GA wrote:

We have been lucky enough to have these beautiful spiders over the past several years. My children have enjoyed watching them, and do equate them to Charlotte :) As a matter of fact, all three in my yard right now are named Charlotte LOL. I had the joy of watching the female weave her web just before dawnthis morning...truely amazing!

Positive Hintetsomaru On Sep 18, 2009, Hintetsomaru from Saint Matthews, SC wrote:

I, personally, love these bugs, and have seen several of them scattered around my yard. They are very beautiful creatures, and sweet creatures if you don't attack them. I even managed to hold one, once. I'm a bit sad, as one of my personal favorites have recently laid eggs, and will pass away soon, but I will be fine. On current, I have seen at least eight in my yard alone, none the less in the field near my home. They keep most irritating insects away from my small garden, and they have no problems living with Jeweled Spiders nearby. I may upload some pictures of them, in the near future.

Positive Arachnophile On Sep 22, 2009, Arachnophile from Norman, OK wrote:

I love all spiders and insects, and this morning I saw this beautiful creature had built her web on the outside of our screen porch. I have never seen a spider like this before, and when I sent the picture of her to my mother--a seasoned gardener--she said she had never seen one, either. I remember seeing a lot of lovely spiders with zig-zags in the middle of their webs in the 1960s, but not for many years, and not one like this. It's an honor to welcome her as autumn arrives! I have uploaded a photo of her for your enjoyment.

Neutral trvdc On Sep 25, 2009, trvdc from Forest Grove, OR wrote:

I Live in North West Oregon. Tonight I found a Scribbler spider on the lavender bush by my front door. I've never seen one of these spiders. Neither have either of my parents or neighbors. I'm sure there not native here because this is the first one anyone from around here has ever seen. My family has been here over a hundred years... Can anyone tell me what I should do? I read they live in corn fields, which my property is surrounded by this time of year. The farmers are cutting it down as I type... should I be as freaked out as much as this things making me?? I don't want it around because of the kids.

Negative baconbone On Sep 26, 2009, baconbone from Hillsboro, OR wrote:

What ever you do please do not capture this bug and give it over for research my cousin did this last fall and has experienced a terrible run of bad luck. This spider is cursed. Even though it seems this simple act is in inherently harmless it carries with it a heavy cost. I think such creatures should be left in there natural state and should not be harmed, yea be warned.

Positive kateyes3 On Oct 13, 2009, kateyes3 from Knoxville, TN wrote:

We had a beautiful writing spider show up outside my bedroom window of our second floor apartment. I startled both of us yanking the blinds up and yelling when I saw her. She started bobbing her web back and forth. Warning me maybe? I lowered the blinds a little to give her privacy. She had a large egg sac in her web. She has moved around a few times and once was right outside the building door. I was afraid someone would harm her, but no one has. I've seen her (or another one?) in a more sheltered area with another egg sac. My girls and I call her Charlotte and other than look and take pictures leave her alone. :)

She doesn't seem to mind us looking at her, but we take care not to get to close. She's a rather large spider!

Positive Gnat666 On Oct 21, 2009, Gnat666 from Barnesville, GA wrote:

my nephew found one of these on our backporch near the door and freaked out because of its size. he caught it in a jar and waited till i got home to show me. im the resident 'bug nerd' so he was hoping i could tell him about it. i told him they are harmless and the best thing to do was to let it go and hope it went back to its web, which it quickly climbed back into. its been hanging out on our porch now for about a week. i was actually happy to find one living near our house.

Positive hope43 On Nov 13, 2009, hope43 from Tulsa, OK
(Zone 7a) wrote:

know i know what the spiders are i took while back i thought threads were pretty all like scribbles... had 2 shapes.of the spider. think posted pictures if not will if have camera is broke now..

Positive cesnod On Feb 1, 2010, cesnod from Whittier, NC wrote:

After sixty-plus years, I came face-to-face with my first writing spider on the porch of a cabin in the Smokies last Fall ...took a photo to send to a naturalist friend for identification. It's beautiful spider that's impossible to ignore. This week, I used the image on my photo-blog (Jan 31 post)...

http://www.postcardsfromthesmokies.com

Positive PinetopPlanter On May 12, 2010, PinetopPlanter from Auburn Four Corners, PA
(Zone 5a) wrote:

Growing up, part of the time, in Pennsylvania, we called these 'August Spiders' since it was in that month that we would see them here and there in the fields. We would catch bugs -- mainly japanese beetles -- and toss them into the web. Sometimes the beetle would wriggle free, sometimes not. They were always seen as beneficial 'friends' and we would be sad when we accidently ran through a web, or went back to a spot where one had been the day before, only to find that the spider had moved.

I've never found these spiders to be aggressive against humans.

'August Spiders', monarch catterpillars, and wild asters are intimately tied with memories of late summer days in beautiful Northeastern PA.

Positive aquilusdomini On Jul 23, 2010, aquilusdomini from Jackson, MI wrote:

i love these spiders, they're beautiful and so good for the garden. to those of you who had an adverse reaction after being bit, you're ALLERGIC to the spider's venom. these spiders are not dangerous to the general public and shouldn't be considered dangerous unless you have an allergy, in which case you should avoid the creature. allergies aside, these spiders are great.

Positive DracoVolans On Jul 28, 2010, DracoVolans from Crestline, CA
(Zone 8b) wrote:

Whew! Took me all of forever to find out the name of this oh so pretty spider! In almost every other resource I've found today, she's called the Golden Orb-Weaver and she seems to be often confused or considered related to the St. Andrew's Cross spider. They have very similar habits, but their markings are quite different: the Golden having the lovely regular, vertical stripe-and-dot pattern and the St. Andrew's having a horizontal black and orange/yellow-white marking.

Gorgeous spider, though, and I had the treat of meeting two living in the same bush in Franklin Canyon here in LA.

We were up at the crack of dawn- mission: to relocate a paper-wasp's nest that a little queen had built on my Organ Pipe Cactus. There are children living in our apartment building, so we were worried that, as the nest got larger, the kids might notice it and well... want to explore it. To save the possibility that someone might get stung by these really not very aggressive wasps (it takes a lot to piss them off- you actually have to come within a few inches and try to touch the nest before they'll rise to sting)- and they're such delicately pretty little things- or that someone might spray poison on them, we decided to try relocating the nest and it's inhabitants. I'm not certain how successful we were- we won't know for a while, yet, if they've re-settled in their new home.

It was on our way out that the rising sun flashed on a bright object in the bushes nearby: a Golden Orb weaver, sitting in her web. I had my Canon camera with me, so I took a number of photos, front and back. Two of the wasps had apparently slept elsewhere last night, because on returning home, we found them flitting about confusedly, wondering where their nest had gone. Cue the gloves, the net and swish! Caught both of them lickety-split and took them to be with their brothers and sisters.

That's when I spotted the SECOND Golden Orb Weaver- literally on the other side of the same bush. We're pretty sure she wasn't there this morning. *chuckles*

Anyway, I think they're lovely spiders and I hope one would take up residence in my yard someday.

Positive senclay On Aug 15, 2010, senclay from Hattiesburg, MS wrote:

I just moved to Hattiesburg, MS and found this large spider outside our kitchen window. I am terrified of spiders and wanted my husband to remove it. After doing some research, I came across this website and found all the wonderful comments about this intimidating spider. After learning how beneficial she is, I have decided to leave her there and have named her "Hattie". Watching her over the days has made me appreciate how beautiful she is and I am okay sharing our home.

Positive hennyfer17 On Aug 24, 2010, hennyfer17 from Dexter, MI wrote:

This spider is beautiful. Took up residence in my tomato plant and has been feeding on honey bees that get caught...Watched it feed yesterday...I'm intrigued. Such a pretty creature.

Neutral danaguest On Aug 30, 2010, danaguest from Jackson, MS wrote:

i am horrified of spiders. they are just creepy little creatures. i just walked out my front door to check the mail. while strolling along my sidewalk i saw this huge web with a huge something in the middle... well, i see i found bertha! she is massive and very dangerous looking. i noticed she had quiet a large bug caught in her web she seemed to be nibbling on. i tried to take a picture, but couldn't seem to get in close enough. (my fear just wouldn't allow me) she is very pretty and colorful. even though i don't really care for spiders, i left her alone. as long as she stays outside, i won't bother her. she can build her home out there. i just hope she doesn't come inside. :) i wish my fear wasn't so terrible. she really is a beautiful creature. i really want a good photo of her. maybe i can work up the nerve before she leaves? i immediately came inside and googled "huge yellow and black spider" and it sent me straight to you guys with photos. you have been really helpful and probably saved big bertha's life! lol now that i know she isn't harmful, i have just decided to leave her be. i usually do anyways, but i am hoping that bertha will help me overcome my fear for spiders. (the good one's at least)

Positive rfaile On Sep 1, 2010, rfaile from Catawba, SC wrote:

we found this beautiful spider in a corner nook of our house just behind our moon flower plant. i've always seen them about this time of year right before fall. when i was a child my aunts and uncles would tell all of us children not to show the spider our teeth because if you did she would write your name in her web and you would die soon. bologna!! they told us that to keep us away from the spider. it worked though. we never messed with them and would never show them our teeth.
i love to watch them do their thing! awesome!! amazing!! so big and fascinating. wouldn't want one to get on me though. very scary. i would proably die of a heart attack.
the night we found this spider my husband woke up in the middle of the night thinking he had a spider on his back. after jumping out of the bed both of us screaming and turning on the light there was no sign of any spider. i guess seeing that giant spider that night had put it in his mind that there was one on him. isn't it odd what your mind can do and the stigma of a spider.
love this web site! have it on my favorites now!

Positive ElementsInFL On Sep 3, 2010, ElementsInFL from Bradenton, FL wrote:

Found this wonderful spider in my back yard the last week of July. Intrigued by her vast size and striking colors, I looked her up online. To my surprise she was a very beneficial creature to have in one's garden and she certainly proved those articles correct. They're amazing! Before they arrived ( I had 3 of them) I had a lot of wasps, ugly black moths, and a ton of flies flying around my back yard, now I see hardly any.

Alas, they apparently did too good of a job because the food supply for them dwindled causing 2 of them to leave for a better location I guess. Presently only one's left( I posted a picture of her with her morning snack) and as you can see she's a beauty. I'm also going to post a picture of her sister that had until recently kept her company.

I would like to add, I'm actually afraid of Spiders as well as insects in general but I make the exception with these beautiful Spiders and erm, Dragon Flies.

Neutral expedite On Sep 8, 2010, expedite from Madison, GA wrote:

I have a beautiful sewing spider on my back deck who has made her web across the door frame. I enjoy watching her throught the glass of the door. Unfortunately, we're about to have our house pressure washed and painted, and she and her 4 egg sacs will need to be moved. Can anyone tell me how I can do this? I'd like to continue to enjoy her and give her eggs a safe place to hatch, but she can't stay where whe is.

Positive saraevans On Sep 18, 2010, saraevans from Wynne, AR wrote:

We are a family of 5 who loves these spiders. We have them every year. I have a ten yr old with a form of autism who is fasinated with them. We have enjoyed one that has lived on our front porch for several wks now. She moved two days ago, and we found her in her web dead yesterday. She spun a rusty colored pouch. Does anyone know what happend?? We were all very sad, but my ten yr old wants answeres. The info would be greatly appriciated!!!

Positive bailey1879 On Sep 3, 2011, bailey1879 from Manasota Key, FL wrote:

For the second time in two years, I am happy to report I have a female living in
my Hibiscus. She is large and beautiful and manages to engage both my attention and that of my cat !
I reside in Englewood, FL

Positive PhuzyLogik On Sep 4, 2011, PhuzyLogik from Orlando, FL wrote:

These spiders are really cool! I just had 3 of them in my yard, 2 of them moved away. One laid an egg sack and then the last one move her web right above my front door. It was nice because I could look at her through the window nice and close. But the other day she relocated right across my front door. I'm slowly trying to destory her web so she'll move.

Here's a few pics -
http://www.flickr.com/photos/phuzylogik/6110496617/in/photos...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/phuzylogik/6112549094/in/photos...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/phuzylogik/6081543772/in/photos...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/phuzylogik/6110219305/in/photos...

and a short video of her building her web across my front door http://www.flickr.com/photos/phuzylogik/6111235708/in/photos...

Positive jstrickland On Sep 4, 2012, jstrickland from Arlington, TN wrote:

We get these spiders every summer, usually 1 or 2. This year we have had a bumper crop, with at least five confirmed around our house. The whole family gets excited with each sighting. We have confirmed at least one skink caught and eaten.

Positive Luckyfur On Nov 1, 2012, Luckyfur from Cottonwood Shores, TX wrote:

I have a huge mama on the eaves of my back patio. My husband wanted to tear down her web. He didn't get his way! Now she has not only one, but two egg sacs and I enjoy throwing bugs into her web at night to watch how quickly she wraps them for a later snack! Wondering when the babies will be here? They've been in the web for about a month.

Positive Jbert On Aug 31, 2014, Jbert from High Point, NC wrote:

Beautiful spider... Very recognizable.
I see these every year in my area. I like 'em, welcome in my yard.

Positive vossner On Aug 31, 2014, vossner from Richmond, TX
(Zone 9a) wrote:

Found this spider in our Freestone Co, east TX, property. It scared me to death, as it was as big as my hand. Upon researching, I have learned it is considered a beneficial as it eats many bugs, but I'd rather not stumble upon one again. It is often confused with a banana spider.


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