The Black & Yellow Spider

She is a female spider, large in size, with aggressive colors, and most of us would not dare to get close to her.

But we learn that the Black & Yellow spider is actually beneficial to gardens, by feeding on pest insects, and is of no danger to humans.

She is also known as the writing spider due to the amazing webs they spin. More specifically due to a series of Xs in the centre of the web. Their webs are extremely strong and some may span over 4-5 feet long. Each night the spider eats its own web and creates another one. If you get to find one, try observing its fleeting patterns each day.

As you can imagine, the “Black & Yellow Spider” image was selected for posting from many. I have chosen it due to the photograph’s composition, vantage point, light, ‘architectural’ lines and also because of its descriptive nature.

What is it that we can look at?
We can see the delicate yet strong silk thread. I particulary like how her legs touch the very thin thread.
We can also see one of her 2 fangs located at the sides of the mouth. Connected to the venom glands, they are responsible to inject venom in her prey.
We can see her black and yellow coloration that gives their names.
We can see other details such as her leg structure and even her eyes.

Another interesting behavior, that you may already have heard about some spider species, is that females eat their males after mating. Well, in case of Black & Yellow spiders, after mating, the male actually goes into an organismic death. So she doesn’t kill her mate, he simply dies in the few minutes after.  He shall still become lunch or dinner though.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda August 8, 2012 at 5:39 pm

I have one of these in my garden at the moment and she is magnificent. She has made a "z" pattern in white down the center of her web. Kingston , Ontario

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Mike Lascut August 8, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Hi Linda,
Thank you for your feedback. Happy to hear that you are appreciating the Black and Yellow spider. They are indeed magnificent and very interesting to observe their behaviour. I always look for them in my garden and enjoy their presence.
All the best,
MikeL

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Karen in Barrie, ON August 11, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Omg I just went to pick tomatoes in my back garden and one if these spiders just scared the daylights out of me; do they bite?  Took some great photos 

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Mike Lascut August 12, 2012 at 11:15 am

Hi Karen,
Black and Yellow spiders are harmless to humans. But that does not mean they won’t bite if they feel threatened. I’d just let them be and go around them to avoid damaging their web.
Glad to hear that you managed to take great photos of them. They are indeed beautiful to observe.
All the best,
MikeL

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Colleen August 16, 2012 at 9:01 am

I noticed a beautiful circular web in the Japanese Blood Grass.  These spiders are amazing with Web Design!  They Weaved the tall blod grass into a circlular funel look.  Thanks for the info Mike!
Colleen MatheBurlington, ON

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Kathleen in Orangeville, ON August 21, 2012 at 5:11 pm

What a beautiful creature!  Found her near our front porch amongst the yellow lilies with many goodies caught in her web.  Was amazed to read that the zig-zag part of the web is actually made by the male spider who's only 3/4" long.  One inch egg sac supposedly holds 1000 babies who hatch in Fall but don't leave the sac until spring.  Not sure I want that many in my garden!!

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Austin August 24, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Hey, i saw one of these black and yellow spiders on the golf course the other day it was interesting finding it but look dangerous, by any chance would it bite and does it have venom strong enough to infect us ?  

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Mike Lascut August 24, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Hi Austin,
Thanks for your comment.
She looks dangerous but she is of no threat to humans. I’m sure she will bite if not left alone but her venom will not cause any serious medical reactions in humans.
Hope you enjoyed your round of golf :)
Best,
MikeL

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Ellie August 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I had one of these spiders in my yard years ago. She was magnificent. Also did the z pattern. I have great pictures of her. We use to go outside at dusk to watch her build her web.

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Mike Lascut August 24, 2012 at 4:56 pm

Hi Ellie,
Thanks for your feedback and glad to hear you’ve been enjoying her skills in building intricate web patterns :)
All the best,
MikeL

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