Description: This is one of Ontario’s largest orb weavers. The body length of females (cephalothorax and abdomen) ranges from 19 – 28 millimetres; males are much smaller, at five to nine millimetres. Silver hairs adorn the upper half of the cephalothorax, while the black, egg-shaped abdomen has striking yellow markings. The legs are pale at the base, and darker towards the tips. The much smaller male is pale, sometimes orangeish. The large webs of this species (and the banded garden spider below) have a broad, zigzag “stabilimentum” running from top to bottom.
Habitat: Meadows, shrubby areas, yards and gardens
Range: Most common in south-eastern Canada and the eastern United States.
Seasonality: Summer through early fall
Trivia: On these orb webs, only the spiral webbing is sticky, leaving the stronger “spokes” and support lines easy for the web master to grasp.