Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia)
Watercolor and colored pencil
The distinctively marked Argiope aurantia, meaning “gilded silver face” in Latin, is also known as the writing spider, corn spider or black and yellow garden spider and is a species of Orb Weaver, known for their circular webs. It is common from north to central America, often seen in gardens and near sunny, open areas. The writing spider is notable for the female’s zigzag web which can reach up to two feet in diameter and which she often rebuilds each night after consuming its centre. The web’s bold pattern 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 orderly webs for an entire season. Though the writing spider is not aggressive, its venom holds an array of toxins, such as argiotoxin, which have potential for their medicinal qualities.
For more information about the Black and Yellow Argiope, visit the National Wildlife Federation.
Project: Illustration commissioned for a collection of exemplar species pages during the launch phase of the Encyclopedia of Life (www.eol.org) whose goal is to provide scientific information about every species on the planet.
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