After hearing a loud shout from my wife Meg emanating from the front porch, I had to go out and investigate. Well I see the focus of the commotion: a large orb web with a very unusual zigzag pattern at the center and the web maker standing guard at the center. Who can he be?
A quick reference in our spider
guide revealed that this beauty is a black and yellow argiope, also called a
black and yellow garden spider. The white zigzag patterns are called stabilimentum and reflect UV light. They have been shown to play a role in
attracting prey to the web, and possibly to prevent its destruction by large
animals. Oh, by the way, the bite is
harmless to humans. Always good to know.