The Writing Spider: a Gardener's Companion
Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Late summer is the time when spiders seem to be at their population peak around my house and garden. For most gardeners, the writing spider, Argiope aurantia,is a treasured companion, as their large web contains white designs called stabilimenta which looks like something you’d scribble on a piece of paper. The name stabilmenta refers to the now-disputed idea that it strengthened the web, other ideas are that it makes the web more visible to birds so they won’t fly through it. At any rate, the web itself catches insects which the spiders eat. If you tap on the web, the spider will shake her web vigorously, trying to scare you away. These spiders eat insects that eat your plants and although they do use poison to kill their prey, are of no danger whatsoever to you.