Yellow Garden Spiders (Argiope aurantia) are more scary looking than they are dangerous. They do bite if they are harassed but the venom is harmless to humans. I have always wanted to get a good photograph of one but never had the opportunity. That is until I visited the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center yesterday with some of my photography friends and they pointed out the specimen below. It was a bit windy so I just took a bunch of photos hoping that one would be sharp. This is the only one that was “show ready”.
The spider is also known by other names such as the Black and Yellow Garden Spider, Golden Garden Spider, Writing Spider, Corn Spider and McKinley Spider. It is common to the Central and North America regions. Some are also spotted in Hawaii. Their web has a circular shape with a dense zigzag of silk, known as a stabilimentum near the center. The purpose of the stabilimentum is disputed. Theories range from camouflage to a way to attract pray. One thing for sure is that it’s only found on webs who’s spiders are active during the day. I think this is a female.
This image was taken with my Canon EOS 5DS using my Canon EF 180mm f/3.5 Macro Lens. The camera was set on Manual mode with the aperture set at f/16, shutter speed at 1/25th of a second and the ISO set at 800. I did not use a flash to light the subject. This is a single image processed in Lightroom and Nik Color Efex Pro.
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