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“A’scairt of piders”?

September 18, 2010

My friend Jane admitted she is “a’scairt of piders” (see her comment in The Daily Compost) and could not look at the lovely specimen my friend Jennifer found between two pine trees. Well, Jane darling, look what I found in my garden.  (Or don’t look, I mean, you don’t have to, really.  I have to admit that even though I was really fascinated by her,  I was a little crawly and goosebumpy after looking at all the piders to identify her.  I wonder what I’ll dream of tonight  [a little shudder and lots of piloerection]. Pilo-  Pilo- geeze!  Where’s your mind? Honestly!).

She’s a “black and yellow garden spider.”  Huge.  You can tell her size by the Roma tomato in the background.  I bet she’s and inch and a half across.  But she’s not hairy like many of the neosconus that Jennifer talked about. Exquisitely marked on front and back, she was sitting upon a web that was perfect except near where she was sitting.  There were lots of mosquitos caught in her web.  I like her! And I’m glad she decided to take up residence in my tomatoes.  She’s a wonder.  God did good! Naturally!

Here’s her resume:

(Argiope aurantia)

CHARACTERISTICS: Yellow Garden Spiders are from the Argiope genus and a local throughout the United States of America. Commonly found throughout garden areas and woodlands, the spider is easily identifiable by the distinctive yellow and black coloring found on the abdomen. The legs are equally noticeable by the alternating bands of orange and black on the legs, though this pattern may vary from spider to spider.

Females measure in larger than the males, coming in between 19mm to 28mm whilst males are roughly between 5mm and 8mm. Besides being smaller, males do not promote their colors as such, and might appear a shade or two paler in the process.

Webs produced by the Yellow Garden Spider is also distinct as sometimes having a zig-zag type pattern down the middle of their webs, reportedly produced by a nearby male. Additionally, their webs will be built as a spiral that builds out from the center.

Yellow Garden Spiders might also go under the name of Common Garden Spider or Black-and-Yellow Garden Spider in other publications. Either way, spotting one of these spiders is quite a treat as their unique shape and striking colors add a bit of natural “punch” to your garden.

Yellow Garden Spiders are not quite as common throughout the Rocky Mountain areas as they area everywhere else in the country. They’re a summertime appearance whose eggs hatch in the fall. Their eggsacs might appear brown and tough.

I lifted the above from

OK, Jane, and all you arachnaphobes, here are the pictures of my girlfriend, Argiope.  It’s Okay, Jane. I’ll see you later. Thanks for stopping by. Kisses!

Argiope at a distance - see tomato above her to right

Now a little more close up and personal:

Argiope aurantia at home amongst tomatoes

And from her backside:

Don't you think she might be pregnant?

The reason I ask this question is the size of her abdomen. It’s huge and swollen. (I may have just been looking at too many alpaca butts for my own — and your– good.)  Look at the specimen I found on the bug site. It’s skinny.

Skinny black-and-yellow-garden spider

In fact, now that I’ve got the pictures side by side (sort of) I’m not sure I identified my lovely correctly.  Mine really is black and white – not yellow and white. I think I got snookered by the double dots on the abdomen and the stripedy legs.  My girl is much more attractive.  Don’tcha think???

BTW, I tried to google “black and white spider Idaho.”  No luck.  I did however find a White and Black Jumping Spider With Green Fangs.  This is for you, Jane, though I know you’ll never see it, nor ever finish reading this post.  Perhaps one of Jane’s other loving friends will tell her that I dedicated this spider to her, please:

Now THAT’S a pider to be a’scairt of!

Sweet dreams, everyone.


22 Comments leave one →
  1. September 19, 2010 5:29 am

    Ewwww nancy!! I am a’scairt of piders too!! And I cudn’t look at the pics either!! And I am super duper scared (like screaming types) of centipedes too!!!

    • September 19, 2010 9:28 am

      I apologize, dear Punam. I did get carried away. But she was so beautiful. I had to give her her own moment in the limelight.

      Both creatures – spiders and centipedes – have given us ample reason to be a’scairt. I think I’d add those little tiny gold scorpions to the mix. When I lived in Arizona, if I left a book on the floor, there’d always be one under it when I retrieved it. Yuck and ewwww. Fortunately, I never got stung. Lots of folks did.

      Love Nancy

      • September 20, 2010 10:56 am

        Oh God Oh God! I am glad you were safe! I mean, imagine what a creature with HUNDRED legs could do!! Gives me nightmares.. and when they crawl out in our wash rooms, I am screaming like anything!! Thankfully, I’ve never seen scorpions, but I am sure they are from the same batch of horrors as well.

        But then, in hindsight, am I overreacting? But even vegetable worms scare me equally! Anything that is wriggly squiggly and wiggly!! he he he..

      • September 20, 2010 11:10 am

        I love that: “wriggly, squiggly and wiggly” N

  2. September 19, 2010 7:04 am

    She’s gorgeous, Nancy (I happen to like bugs!). Not so fond of snakes, though…


    • September 19, 2010 9:40 am

      Oh, Wendy. Don’t get me going!!!! I may have to write a blog at your expense. I love, love, love snakes – better’n piders. Maybe I’ll take you on a tour of my house. I have little rubber snakes and lizards in lots of my plants. Living for over 30 years in Arizona made me a great fan, though I never saw one in the wild there until my last tour there. We lived at 4000 feet on 10 acres that had quite a few Mojave rattlers and Diamond backs. Had to be really careful walking down our road. We have stories. Yikes~

      Love you, darling friend. N

  3. planejaner permalink
    September 19, 2010 1:27 pm

    Ok, Nancy–I did just like I did over at Jennifer’s–I squinted my eyes and scrolled to the end.
    don’t get me started about cockroaches.

    • September 19, 2010 4:46 pm

      I’m always challenged to counterbalance someone’s dislikes, but in this case, there’s NO WAY I’m writing about cockroaches. What’s your word? Bleh! Mine is blech! Have you ever stepped on a southern cockroach that’s 2 inches long? Blech! Blech! Blech!

      • planejaner permalink
        September 19, 2010 11:43 pm

        Oh, Nancy–when we lived in the south, for a time my husband worked a night shift in the Army…I would sit up reading, and out of the corner of my eye would see one of the big cockroaches scurrying across the linoleum. My strategy was to take off my glasses, so the bug would be blurry, and drop our big dictionary on it and then jump up and down on it. Then, I’d leave the book in place, and when my wonderful husband came home in the morning, he would scrape the thing off the bottom and replace the book for the next time. On particularly bad nights, I would also employ the mighty powers of the thesaurus, and also some other heavy tomes. Then, in the mornings, it would look like I had placed colorful stepping-stones all over our house.

        ahh…those were the days. I always felt somehow vindicated because, at least, the large cockroaches weren’t the ones that meant you were a dirty, slovenly housekeeper, like the little ones that can take over a kitchen, but the big honkers that just want to get out of the blasted downpours.


      • September 20, 2010 6:53 am

        When I lived in Florida I learned the hard way that you don’t spray bug killer on a Palmetto roach. They fly and when sprayed fly drunkenly at you. ( Chills and gooseflesh).

        Between the two of us, we probably have enough material for an expose on roaches. Let’s don’t.


  4. September 19, 2010 7:19 pm

    When my son was young he would capture what he called “banana spiders” in jars. He also liked to catch snakes. I learned quite quickly not to be frightened!

    • September 20, 2010 7:01 am

      I’ve got a post coming on snakes. I l-l-l-love them! I had daughters who squealed at creepy, crawly things. I didn’t become a true fan of things natural until I was in my 50s. I guess I needed some maturity under my belt. Still a little squeamish if they’re on my person. Nancy

  5. September 19, 2010 7:59 pm

    Yup! Those are the ones that make me shriek and run. I had to come and look. They are beautiful and colorful and very scary. Thank you for sharing!

    • September 20, 2010 6:56 am

      Hey, Carol! Thanks for taking a peeeeeek. I feel like I already know you from your comments on Jane’s posts. We’re making ourselves a very nice little community of women. Glad you’re in it. Nancy

      • September 20, 2010 10:50 am

        Thank you! Glad to be here! I think I know you, too, from Jane’s wonderful blog.

  6. September 20, 2010 10:21 pm


    The fact that I am commenting on this should tell you how much I love you. I HATE ANYTHING that crawls on more then four legs, but spiders freak me out more then anything else. I shut my eyes as I frantically scrolled down just so I could comment. Like cats will find and try to snuggle with the one person with cat allergies in of a room full of cat lovers, creepy crawlies seek me and my house out.

    I had a (huge) spider that made a web outside in the corner of my front door. We almost never use that door, so obviously she felt safe. It was discovered very early one Saturday morning over a month ago and I thought it was dead otherwise I would have gone running screaming never to be seen again. I left it in it’s web until Sunday night when Hubby came home when upon walking in (the side door) he was told to take care of it.

    When I Googled it, (yes, I had nightmares for weeks) I thought it was a very different spider. I guess in my freaked out state I missed the violin on her back. Hubby didn’t though and good thing he didn’t. She wasn’t dead, just hanging out very still waiting for prey. She was a brown recluse. Very poisonous. Thankfully he had taken precautions and didn’t get bit when she ‘came alive’. I haven’t opened that door since, but require Hubby to every weekend when he gets back just to check.

    I do love snakes though so be sure to post lots of pics to ohh and ahh over. On that happy note I am going to bed where I can only hope I am too sick to have nightmares.



  7. smalltownbiglife permalink
    September 20, 2010 10:56 pm

    I only have one comment….aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!! (that’s the sound of me screaming at the spider pics). I’m with Jane on this one!

  8. September 21, 2010 3:04 am

    lol. i was fine until i saw that last picture.
    That is one creepy spider

  9. Jennifer Barricklow permalink
    September 23, 2010 7:49 am

    Oh, Nancy — spiders AND snakes? I love snakes, too! I can’t wait to read your posting about them! (We really are kindred souls — in some of the weirdest ways, I might add.)

    I love the photos of your black and yellow friend. She’s gorgeous! Thanks for sharing them.

    And that little green-fanged beauty looks like she’s all dolled up to go out for a night on the town: the color of her fangs reminds me of the eye shadow I used to wear when I was in high school. Being a jumping spider and all, I’ll bet she’s something to see on the dance floor! 😉

    • September 23, 2010 7:55 am

      What a delightful comment, Jennifer. Makes me smile ear to ear!!!! I thought our little green-fanged gal was pretty hideous looking, but with your description she becomes immediately darling. I’ll never see her the same again. Thank you for transforming dark into light – a talent you employ most regularly, I might add. How lovely to have you as my soul friend. The “snakes” are partially written, but have been preempted by this morning’s full moon. Perhaps I’ll take the time to do both.

      Love you, lady. Nancy

  10. Torrey Canales! permalink
    September 7, 2012 3:57 pm

    Wow, I’ve never met a woman who thought of spiders as beautiful. I don’t hate them, but I don’t like them either. My mother was bitten by a brown recluse last summer and it rotted a big hole in her side. The kids I babysit…they have black widows and scorpions. I do love snakes, though.

  11. Torrey Canales! permalink
    September 7, 2012 4:00 pm

    You ever seen a Camel Spider? Now THOSE are frightening….

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