|Female in California (dorsal side)|
Argiope argentata is a species of spider in the family Araneidae (orb-weavers), found from the United States south to Chile and Argentina. It is a member of the Argiope genus and is commonly known as the silver argiope.
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, and with a primarily brown underbelly. The legs have bands of orange, black, and silver. The female can be up to 35 mm in length whereas the male tends to be 20 mm or less.
Females of the Argiope blanda species are very similar to Argiope argentata females. The species can potentially be distinguished due to the four projections on the abdomen being more rounded on A. argentata, differing ventral markings, differing genitalia (the only sure distinguisher), and within the United States, A. blanda's range being limited to the southern tip of Texas.
Like other members of Argiope, silver argiopes often spin stabilimenta into their webs. These often take the form of zigzag lines, and frequently there are four of them forming a centerless "X" shape near the center of the web; the spider then rests in the very middle, with four pairs of legs each drawn together and splayed out in an "X" shape more or less aligned with the stabilimentum "X".
The range of Argiope argentata extends from the USA in the north (between southern California and Florida) to as far as Argentina in the south, although it prefers warmer, dryer areas. They can often be found on prickly pears in the fall.
Female in California (ventral side)
Female in the Galápagos Islands
Female in Jamaica
Female with victim (a bush cricket) in Jamaica
- "Taxon details Argiope argentata (Fabricius, 1775)". World Spider Catalog. Natural History Museum Bern. Retrieved 2016-05-08.
- Berrian, Jim. "SDNHM: Silver Argiope spider (Argiope argentata)". www.sdnhm.org. San Diego Natural History Museum. Archived from the original on 2012-01-04. Retrieved 2017-08-16.
- Smithsonian Institution. "Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute-Argiope argentata". biogeodb.stri.si.edu. Retrieved 2017-08-16.
- Bryant, Peter J. (2015-12-28). "Silver argiope, Argiope argentata". mamba.bio.uci.edu. University of California, Irvine. Retrieved 2017-08-16.
- Elliott, Lynette; Heins, Chad (2015-07-16). "Species Argiope blanda - BugGuide.Net". Retrieved 2017-08-16.
- Elliott, Lynette; M, Katherine (2012-12-14). "Possible blanda (ID not verified) - Argiope blanda - BugGuide.Net". Retrieved 2017-08-16.
- Elliott, Lynette; Burton, Henry; Ferguson, David J.; Edmonds, Matt (2012-12-14). "WHAT IS THIS SPIDER - Argiope - BugGuide.Net". Retrieved 2017-08-16.
- Argiope argentata images (free for noncommercial use)
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