Arachnids of North Carolina
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View Araneidae Members: NC Records

Argiope trifasciata - Banded garden spider, Banded Argiope


Taxonomy
Order: ARANEAEInfraorder: AraneomorphaeFamily: Araneidae                                                                                 
Species Comment: Latin: "three-banded", from tres- "three" + fasciatus- "enveloped in bands, swathed"
Identification
Online Description/Photos: BugGuide, Google Images, iNaturalist, WikipediaTechnical Description: Spiders of North America - Bradley; Spiders of the Carolinas – Gaddy; Bugguide
Comments: Large oval abdomen is crossed by a series of narrow black lines, with silver or yellow bands in between. Some females are so densely hairy that the bands are indistinct. The cephalothorax is silvery. On the underside of the abdomen there are two light lines with a dark area in the center that has six of eight small white spots. The legs are pale orange banded with black. The male is proportionately much smaller than the females.
Total Length: Large, Female total body length 15.0-25.0 mm, Male total body length 4.0-5.5 mphAdult ID: identifiable by photo
Distribution in North Carolina
Comments: Widespread throughout North Carolina and the United States. Adults July-November.
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Adult phenology:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Open areas, old fields, shrubby areas, gardens, marsh or pond edges etc. with tall grass. Webs tend to be more hidden than those of aurantia.
Observation Methods: Visual observation.
Abundance/Frequency: Common
Silk / Web: Large orb web, up to two feet in diameter.
Behavior: Diurnal. Web may be up to two feet in diameter. Egg sac may contain more than 1000 eggs. It is about 18 mm in diameter and is shaped like a cup or a kettledrum, not spherical, as is that of Argiope aurantia. Visual surveys. Banded garden spiders almost always “orient their webs along an east-to-west axis but place themselves in the webs with their abdomens facing south.” This position helps them absorb as much of the sun’s heat as possible. Temperature is one of the major factors for spiders, especially for them to be active late in the year. Like the other garden spiders, banded garden spiders also build stabilimenta. It looks similar to the silver garden spider’s, but is less prominent in the web.
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
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State Protection:
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Photo Gallery for Argiope trifasciata - Banded garden spider, Banded Argiope

Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
New Hanover Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
New Hanover Co.
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Recorded by: Scott Bolick
Forsyth Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields, Hunter Phillips
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: FKW
Gates Co.
Comment: MEMI
Recorded by: J.Williams
Vance Co.
Comment: KELA
Recorded by: J.Williams
Vance Co.
Comment: KELA
Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Surry Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall
Orange Co.
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