Yellow Garden Spider
8-3-2019....at Lady Bird Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas.
The spider species Argiope aurantia is commonly known as the yellow garden spider, black and yellow garden spider, golden garden spider, writing spider, zigzag spider, corn spider, or McKinley spider. It is common to the contiguous United States, Hawaii, southern Canada, Mexico, and Central America.
Females of the species are the most commonly seen in gardens. Their webs are usually characterized by a zigzag shaped stabilimentum (an extra thick line of silk) in the middle extending vertically. The spiders spend most of their time in their webs, waiting for prey to become ensnared. When prey becomes caught in the web, the spider may undulate the web back and forth to further trap the insect. When the prey is secure, the spider kills it by injecting its venom and then wraps the prey in a cocoon of silk for later consumption (typically 1–4 hours later). Prey includes small vertebrates, such as geckos and green anoles, as well as insects