A female Black and Yellow Argiope catches a humming bird. What is a Black and Yellow Argiope one asks? Well it’s a spider. It must be a huge spider to catch a hummingbird. Actually this female spider grows only to be an inch and a half long at most. Males only grow three quarters of an inch long at most. Although the females are bigger, they both posses the same color and markings. The cephalothorax, which is the head and chest, has short silvery hair. Legs are black with reddish or yellow bands near the body. The abdomen is egg-shaped with yellow or orange on black.
These spiders are orb web spiders. That means that they spin webs like a circle. They live mostly in fields and gardens. They’ll be found on flowers, tall plants, and shrubs. The web of this spider spirals out from the center, and the web can be as wide as two feet across. The female spider will build the large web, and the male spider will a smaller web on the outer part of her web. The males web however is a thick zigzag of white silk.
Waiting for her prey, she waits in the center of her web with her head hanging down towards the floor. Sometimes she hides off to the side with a thin silk web attached to her web. The Black and Yellow Argiopes usually eat flying insects. The most common insects are aphids, flies, grasshoppers, bees and wasps. When an insect hits the web, the spider feels a vibration and comes running.
These spiders perfer to spend thier days in the sunnny places, when they are most active. They like there webs to be in areas with very little or no wind at all. Each night, they eat their web and build a new one.
Altough some people are afraid to be bitten by these spiders, these inch and a half spiders ars not considered dangerous. They may bite if harassed, but the venom does not cause problems for humans. So, if you see one of these spiders, admire from afrar and don’t piss it off. Even if it doesn’t kill you, it will probably leave a niece painful welt.
The main preditors of these spiders are birds. Others include some wasps, especially mud daubers, shrews, lizards, frogs, toads, opossum and skunk to name a few.
Even though birds are the main predators for these spiders, The humming bird is not one of those birds. Actually, hummingbirds need to look out for spiders as they are their prey. It’s hard to imagine that a fast bird that can move forward, up, down, and the only bird to move backwards is prey to spiders. Also, factoring the size of the bird to the spider, the hummingbird is twice to even more than four times the leanth of a spider. This shows how fierce and clever spiders are. They are hunters that build traps.
The picture that is located towards the top of the page, is that of a female Black and Yellow Argiope spider. In the web below the spider is a decapitated hummingbird. The spider didn’t just detach the head from the body and discarded it. The spider was hungry. I know this because Bill Smith, the person that posted this picture said, “The spider must have been hungry because the hummingbirds head wasn’t found anywhere near the web.” Bill thank you for this picture and a very interesting and weird topic to discuss.