Return to Texas Entomology - Compiled by Mike Quinn

Yellow Garden Spider

Argiope aurantia Lucas, 1833

Family Araneidae - Orb Weavers

cf: Banded Garden Spider, Silver Garden Spider


Yellow Garden Spider - Argiope aurantia Lucas, 1833

Orange County, Florida
July 22, 2005 (Jeff Hollenbeck)

Texas County Records for Argiope aurantia

Yellow Garden Spider - Argiope aurantia Lucas, 1833

County Record Source: Allen Dean


Because of its large size, bright colors, and its habit of building its web in open, sunny places this spider in one of the most commonly known to laymen. It may often be seen in gardens around houses, and in tall weeds and grass. Kaston (1948)


Occurs from southern Canada south through the lower 48 United States, Mexico, and Central America as far south as Costa Rica. Least common in the Rocky Mountain and Great Basin states.

Texas Counties

Archer, Atascosa, Bastrop, Bell, Bexar, Brazos, Burleson, Clay, Collin, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, DeWitt, Denton, Erath, Fannin, Galveston, Grimes, Harris, Hays, Houston, Johnson,  Kendall, Kerr, Leon, Matagorda, Nacogdoches, Robertson, San Patricio, Tarrant, Travis, Victoria, Walker, Wichita, Williamson (Allen Dean, pers. comm., Oct. 2007)

Time of activity: 

Female: June, July, August, September, October, November (Allen Dean, pers. comm., 2007)
Male: June, July, August, September (Allen Dean, pers. comm., 2007)

Egg Sacs:

Kaston (1948) counted 416, 441, 507, 716, and 933 eggs in five sacs respectively. Scheffer (1905) reported 1000 to 1200 as the usual number.

Similar species: There are seven Nearctic species of Argiope.

Texas taxa: Species and range per Allen Dean, (pers. comm., 2007).

Argiope argentata (Fabricius, 1775) - Cameron, Nueces Counties
Argiope aurantia Lucas, 1833 - Eastern 2/3 Texas
Argiope blanda O. P.-Cambridge, 1898 - Cameron County
Argiope trifasciata (Forskål, 1775) - Wide spread


Argiope aurantia - The Nearctic Spider Database
Argiope aurantia - Animal Diversity Web, University of Michigan Zoology


Classic pose - Classic pose - BugGuide.Net
Male - BugGuide.Net
Female with much smaller male - Again - BugGuide.Net
Female with egg sac - Again - BugGuide.Net
Juvenile on expanded stabilimentum - Long shot - BugGuide.Net
With Monarch - BugGuide.Net
Web close-up - BugGuide.Net
Humor - BugGuide.Net


Yellow Garden Spider - 33 cent USA 
Insects & Spiders - VERY high resolution - full sheet - 1999 - Illustrator Steve Buchanan - USPS

Etymology: Argiope aurantia Lucas, 1833

arg, -o (G). Shining, bright
ope, -o (G). An opening ?
auranti (NL). Orange colored

Bibliography: Pierre Hippolyte Lucas (1814 – 1899) was a French entomologist - Wikipedia


Borror, D.J. 1960. Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms. National Press Books, Palo Alto. v + 134 pp.

Breene, R.G., D.A. Dean, M. Nyffeler & G.B. Edwards. 1993. Biology, Predation Ecology, and Significance of Spiders in Texas Cotton Ecosystems with a Key to Species. Texas Agriculture Experiment Station, College Station, 115 pp.

Comstock, J.H. 1940. The Spider Book. Comstock Publishing Co., Ithaca, New York.

Eckstein U., R. Samm. 2002. Berühmte Arachnologen Hippolyte Lucas 1814-1899. Arachnologisches Magazin, 10(3): 10-13.

Harwood, R.H. 1974. Predatory behavior of Argiope aurantia (Lucas). American Midland Naturalist, 91: 130-139.

Jackman, J.A. 1997. A Field Guide to the Spiders and Scorpions of Texas. Gulf Publishing Co., Houston. 201 pp. To order call: 800-462-6420.

Kaston, B.J. 1948. Spiders of Connecticut. Bulletin of the State Geological and Natural History Survey, 70: 1-874.

Kaston, B.J. 1978. How to Know the Spiders, 3rd ed. Wm. C. Brown, Dubuque, Iowa.

Levi, H.W. and L.R. Levi. 1968. A Guide to Spiders and Their Kin. Golden Press, New York.

Lucas, H. 1833. Description d'une espece nouvelle d'Arachnide appartenant au genre Argyope de Savigny. Ann. Soc. ent. Fr. 2: 86-88.

Lucas, H. 1840. Histoire naturelle des animaux articules, Annelides, Crustaces, Arachnides, Myriapodes et Insectes. Paris, 1: 334-467.

Lucas, H. 1844-1867. Histoire naturelle des animaux articulés. Exploration scientifique de l'Algérie, pendant les années. Imprimerie Nationale, Paris. 25 volumes. (Arachnides Vol. 22).

Nyffeler, M., D. Dean, W. Sterling. 1987. Feeding ecology of the orb-weaving spider Argiope aurantia (Araneae, Araneidae) in a cotton agroecosystem. Entomophaga, 32: 367-376.

Platnick, N.I. 2000-2007. Fam. Araneidae, Simon 1895. The World Spider Catalog, V8.0. American Museum of Natural History.

Robinson, M.H. 1969. Predatory behavior of Argiope argentata (Fabricius). American Zoologist, 9(1): 161-173.

Scheffer, T.H. 1905. Additions to the list of Kansas spiders. Industrialist of the Kansas State Agricultural College, 31: 435-444.

04 Nov 2007  © Mike Quinn / / Texas Entomology