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Silver garden spider (Argiope argentata)
The silver garden spider or silver argiope (Argiope argentata) is an orb weaver commonly found along the Southern California coast, especially among prickly pear cacti and aloe plants. Mature female specimens are quite large and beautifully ornate, with a distinctive silvery sheen on the carapace and portions of the lobed abdomen.
Female silver argiope with stabilimenta in her web. Arachnologists believe these UV-reflective bands of silk may aid in attracting insects and warning off birds who might have otherwise flown through the web. Orange County, California.
Silver garden spider (Argiope argentata), lateral view. Orange County, California.
Silver garden spider (Argiope argentata), dorsal view of a specimen with a slightly unusual color pattern. Orange County, California.
Silver argiope spiderlings in a tight ball exhibiting communal behavior. Orange County, California.
Female silver garden spider with prey overlooking the Southern California coast. Several of these beautiful argiopes often build their webs on the same cactus; hence the out of focus spider in the background. Orange County, California.
Close up view of a silver argiope egg sac suspended by web within an aloe plant. Orange County, California.
Next Spider: Trashline orb weaver (Cyclosa conica)
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All images copyright Timothy Boomer. All rights reserved worldwide.