January 17, 2022
Ben's taking a well-deserved day off, so we're reaching into the archives for today's #BenInNature update presented by our friends at Carter Bank & Trust! The following post was originally published on October 29, 2020.
Today we're looking at the banded garden spider (Argiope trifasciata), a large spider native to North and South America.
This spider is not to be confused with the yellow garden spider (Argiope aurantia), which is the large yellow and black spider that you're likely to find building a web near your home. While they belong to the same genus, the banded garden spider tends to avoid building its webs out in the open in the same way that yellow garden spiders do. It's also believed that the banded garden spider prefers a drier habitat. They tend to build their webs in concealed areas in tall grass.
Like many orb weavers, the banded garden spider tends to be encountered in the fall; they're active from July through November. Both banded garden spiders and yellow garden spiders will bite if they're harassed, but the bite is no worse than a bumblebee sting and won't cause any issues if you aren't allergic.
Social distancing can be difficult, but it presents a great opportunity to become reacquainted with nature. In this series of posts, Administrator of Science Ben Williams ventures outdoors to record a snapshot of the unique sights that can be found in the natural world. New updates are posted Monday - Friday, with previous posts highlighted on the weekends. This series of posts is made possible thanks to the support of VMNH Corporate Partner Carter Bank & Trust (www.cbtcares.com).
NATURE PHOTO IDENTIFICATIONS
If you discover something in nature that you would like help identifying, be sure to message us right here on Facebook with a picture (please include location and date of picture) and we'll have our experts help you identify it!