As with most members of the Argiope genus the female of the species tends to be much larger than the male. The body of Argiope argentata tends to be primarily silver with brown and orange colorations further back on the abdomen on the top, with a primarily brown underbelly. The legs have bands of orange, black and silver. The female can be up to 35mm in length whereas the male tends to be 20mm or less.
The range of Argiope argentata extends from the USA in the north (from southern California to Florida) as far as Argentina in the south, although it prefers warmer, dryer areas. They can often be found on prickly pears in the fall.
The bite may sting and itch for about an hour, after which the pain usually passes away without serious after effects. However, the effect on small children, seniors and people in a poor state of health may be more serious.
- SDNHM - San Diego Natural History Museum - pictures and descriptions
- UCI - University of California Irvine, Biology - good pictures
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- Picture of Argiope argentata (free for noncommercial use)