A fairly large, black, white and yellow spider with an alien design on its back found in a nest along a hiking trail (near Lake Blanche). Distinctive yellow and black markings on their abdomens and a mostly white cephalothorax. Males range from 5–9 mm (0.20–0.35 in) females from 19–28 mm (0.75–1.1 in). Like other members of Argiope they are considered harmless to humans.
Wetlands, between prairie and lake shore, near Lake Blanche in Glendalough State Park, Minnesota. Often build webs in areas adjacent to open sunny fields where they stay concealed and protected from the wind. The spider can also be found along the eaves of houses and outbuildings or in any tall vegetation where they can securely stretch a web. The circular part of the female's web may reach two feet in diameter. Webs are built at elevations from two to eight feet off the ground. Female Argiope aurantia spiders tend to be somewhat local, often staying in one place throughout much of their lifetime.
The web of the yellow garden spider is distinctive: a circular shape up to 2 feet (60 cm) in diameter, with a dense zigzag of silk, known as a stabilimentum, in the center. In a nightly ritual, the spider consumes the circular interior part of the web and then rebuilds it each morning with fresh new silk. The radial framework and anchoring lines are not usually replaced when the spider rebuilds the web. The spider may be recycling the chemicals used in web building. Additionally, the fine threads that she consumes appear to have tiny particles of what may be minuscule insects and organic matter that may contain nutrition
Lat: 46.33, Long: -95.67
Spotted on Aug 18, 2012
Submitted on Aug 30, 2012