Black and Yellow Argiope (Argiope aurantia)
Watercolor and colored pencil

The black and yellow Argiope is also known as the writing spider, corn spider or black and yellow garden spider. They are common from north to central America and are often seen in gardens and near sunny, open areas. They are most notable for their distinctive markings and for the female’s large web, which can reach two feet in diameter. The bold zigzag pattern she creates within the web may be used as camouflage for the spider, to attract insects and other prey, or as a warning to birds and other predators. These spiders will typically stay in the same area with their webs for an entire season.

This illustration was produced for the exemplar pages of the Encyclopedia of Life (

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