Yellow Garden Spider; Fact, Identification, Behavior & Control

Yellow garden spider! often referred to as the golden garden spiders or the black and yellow garden spiders (due to their body markings) can easily be identified by the distinctive yellow and black markings on their abdomen and a mostly white fused head and thorax (cephalothorax). But what are they really? we now know why they are called black and yellow garden spiders, but why are they called “golden” garden spiders?

The mention of gold quickly brings to memory the picture of a deep lustrous yellow-brown colored chemical element which sometimes serves as a guarantee for the value of currencies (not exactly the basis of our topic today) (smiles). Does a golden garden spider also stand as a guarantee for the value of currencies? all this and many more are what we at pestclue are set to answer in this thrilling article.

Corn spiders (one of their many names) do not look like corn, they do not smell like corn, and do not taste like corn (wait! have you tasted it? no way!), they got this name due to the fact that they shoot out webs the same color with a corn and are yellow just like a corn.

Are these yellow creatures poisonous? do they bite? what attracts them? how can they be controlled? these and many more are a few of those questions this article is set to unravel. Well, without further ado, let’s get those answers!


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Mind Thrilling Facts About the Yellow Garden Spider

Before checking in on this article, you probably did not know why the yellow garden spider was called a corn spider: as stated in the beginning of this article, these spiders are called corn spiders because they have colors just like a corn (yellow), their webs are the same color as a corn (yellow). I bet you were not aware of this fact (smiles).

Well now you know!

After reading this you obviously want to know more? Below are some amazing facts about the yellow garden spider:

IDENTIFICATION The yellow and black spider also known as the corn spider can easily be identified by the distinctive yellow and black markings on its abdomen and a mostly white fused head and thorax (cephalothorax).
NAMES ·         Did we also mention that this spider has so many names used to describe it? (black and yellow garden spider, golden garden spider, writing spider, zigzag spider, zipper spider, corn spider, Steeler spider, or McKinley spider).

·         It belongs to the Species Argiope Aurantia, Genus Argiope meaning “silver face”, Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Arthropoda, Subphylum Chelicerata, Class Arachnida, Order Araneae, Infraorder Araneomorphae,  Family Araneidae.

DISCOVERY The golden garden spider was first discovered and described in the year 1833 by a French etymologist (Hippolyte Lucas).
BIRTH PROCESS Sadly female yellow garden spiders die as soon as they lay their eggs and are not able to protect the spiderlings.
DWELLING REGIONS These spiders can be found in the United states, Central America, Mexico, Southern Canada, Hawaii, etc.
NUTRITION They have a great taste for insects such as flies, wasps, bees, grasshoppers, moths, crickets, etc.
ACTIVE MOMENTS They are most active during the day and make a clear zigzag pattern of silk (zigzag spiders) in the middle of their web waiting for an unsuspecting prey to fly into it.

Having highlighted the above facts, you should be able to identify the yellow garden spider if you ever encounter one.


Behavior of the Yellow Garden Spider

Just like other spider species, the zigzag spider has certain things it gets attracted to, and are often termed to be very dangerous because of their weird-looking structure, but are they really dangerous? well, keep reading to find out. One thing’s certain, these spiders do not cause any damage to household properties or any wooden furniture they come across (unlike the termites). But what about to humans? hmm!

Sadly, this spider has a very short lifespan of only 1 year. When the large female corn spiders give birth they die, leaving the spiderlings to take care of themselves. As for the males, they lose their lives immediately after mating as they are sometimes eaten by the males (sad)

Now let’s get a little deeper into its behavior!


Read also: Golden Orb Spiders; Facts, Behavior, Identification & Control


What does the Yellow Garden Spider Eat?

Of course, spiders are known to feed on a wide variety of insect pests and this golden spider is no exception. As you read further, you will see that we’ve been able to highlight those things that may attract these pests to your home, well, guess what? they also feed on what they are attracted to. Obviously!

In case you don’t want to keep reading further (trust me, you don’t want to), let us clear our thoughts on that. Below is a list of things the corn spider feeds on:

  • The golden garden spider preys on a wide range of flying insects such as Bees (Since bees are attracted to garden flowers the garden spider shoots out its gold-like silk to attract them), Mosquitoes, Butterflies, Small moths, Flies, Wasps, Grasshoppers, Stink Bugs, Leaf-footed bugs, Beetles, Dragonflies, Crickets, etc.

The feeding habit of the corn spider is somewhat beneficial to we humans (especially if we have them living close to us) as it helps in the reduction of pest population in the home. Just in case you still feel like squishing them after knowing that they do not in any way harm human beings? lets clear your mind off such thoughts.


How does the Yellow Garden Spider Consume Its Prey?

In the garden, female golden garden spiders are mostly seen than the males. They are most active during the day and make a clear zigzag pattern of silk (zigzag spiders) in the middle of their web waiting for an unsuspecting prey to fly into it. Their webs are mostly characterized by a thick line of silk vertically extended in the middle known as ”the Stabilimentum”.

They live a boring life (personal thoughts though) waiting in their webs for a prey to dash in. When a prey gets ensnared in the web, the spiders move the web back and forth to ensure that the prey gets further trapped. They also feed on smaller preys such as the wall geckos and inject into them a painful venom which weakens them. They later wrap them in the golden silk and feed on them 1 to 4 hours later.


Does the Yellow Garden Spider Bite?

The fact already stated is that these spiders are not much of a nuisance to human beings and they are not also blood-sucking parasites. But do they bite? well of course they do bite.

Although there has been no reported case of these spiders biting a human, they will definitely bite if they are disturbed or feel threatened. The chance of getting bitten by this spider is at minimum as:

  • Web Visibility: Their colorful webs are very visible and can easily be spotted by a human.
  • Web Positioning: They do not build their webs in pathways where humans will surely pass through, so there’s no chance of getting entangled in it.

If peradventure one gets bitten by these harmless creatures, symptoms such as:

  • Mild swelling.
  • Redness and discomfort around the bitten area.

may come up, but these will only last for a few days. A garden spider’s bite is not as painful as that of a bee or wasp (so it’s safe having them around).


How Does the Yellow Garden Spider Reproduce?

Male spiders (golden garden spiders) go in search of a mate (female obviously), and build a web close to her web when she’s been found. Courting takes place when the male plucks strands on the female’s web.

The female spider is more aggressive than the male, so has to be approached with caution by the male spiders. Just to be on the safe side, the male has a drop line ready in case the female attacks. Mating occurs as the male uses the copulating organ on its Pedipalps  to transmit sperm to the female. Sadly, the male dies after inserting the second Palpal bulb (copulating organ), and may unfortunately be eaten by her (the female garden spider).

After mating, the female deposits the eggs in an egg sac and spins them with her webs to protect them from danger and harsh weather conditions. Spiderlings normally hatch during the late summer/spring, and will remain dormant in the egg sac if the weather condition is not so convenient for them. Feeding is not much of a problem for the spiderlings as the egg sac is usually infested by parasitic wasps & flies. Spiderlings are dispersed by the wind to new areas, while some remain close to the egg sac.


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How do I Identify a Yellow Garden Spider?

People often search this question on the internet. Will I see them on corn? will I see them on a platter of gold? nope, that’s so untrue. Below is how you can identify the golden garden spiders if you ever come across one:

  • Color: Males: They have brown legs and a dull yellow coloration on their abdomens.

Females: There is a black coloration at the top side of the abdomen with symmetrical pattern of bright. They have reddish brown coloration at the base and black coloration at the tip of their legs.

  • Size: Male yellow garden spider are usually smaller than the females. The size of females ranges from (28 to 30) mm in body length, while males barely measure up to 9 mm.
  • Legs: It has long, striped legs (black & yellow/brown) specialized for weaving golden orbs.
  • Habitat: They are mostly found in gardens (obviously) with high prey population and low predators population.


Picture of Yellow Garden Spider


Yellow Garden Spider
Yellow Garden Spider


How Do I Control Golden Garden Spiders in my Home?

As stated previously, this spider is not in any way harmful to humans as you suppose them to be, although they do bite (if they feel threatened). Before you are given control measures to curb the spread of the yellow garden spider, below are highlighted reasons why you would or wouldn’t want to harm these creatures:


Are Yellow Garden Spiders Venomous?

The answer is simply ‘yes’, but not as deadly as that of the wasps or the bees. Even though it is poisonous, it’s venom is not so strong to cause fatal circumstances to human beings. Its bite may cause symptoms such as:

  • Mild swelling.
  • Redness and discomfort around the bitten area.

These symptoms do not persist for long as they’ll surely disappear after a day or two. These spiders are very beneficial as they’ll help reduce the population of some hazardous pests in your environment.

Are corn spiders dangerous? well, now you know!


How do I Treat a Golden Garden Spiders’ Bite?

A bite from these pests is not always serious, and should not really be treated as important except for those who are allergic to them, and serious measures need to be taken to reduce the effect of the poison. Below are measures taken to treat a yellow garden spiders’ poison:

  • Wash the bitten area with soap and warm water to keep it clean.
  • Apply ice to the affected area to prevent swelling.
  • Apply Benadryl cream to the irritated skin to lessen the symptoms and reduce itching.
  • Do well to apply an Aloe Vera gel to the affected area.
  • Contact your doctor if symptoms persist.


How do I Control a Yellow Garden Spider Infestation?

For individuals who are allergic to these insects, you may still feel the need to want to stop these guys from wandering about your environment, below are ways of getting rid of them:

  • Keep your house and environment tidy to avoid some nasty insects from coming into your home, as this will attract these pests to your home. Cleaning your home will help reduce their population, as there will be a low population of prey.
  • If you spot any of these spiders in your home, use a long stick to swirl around its web and place it on any flower you want to be protected from insects attack (this can still stand to your own advantage).
  • Finally, you can make use of insecticides to get rid of them. But you don’t have to as they mean no harm.


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What is my Conclusion on This Topic?

There are a lot of mistakes people make when it comes to nature such as the case of the yellow garden spider. People often mistake them to be orb spiders, to be corn lovers, and they are sometimes unsure if these spiders are dangerous or not. But luckily we at Pestclue have been able to answer one of these many questions. Are these yellow garden spiders? Alas! it is.

For more info, contact us to make your contributions or queries. We’re glad to have been of so much help to you and hope that you come back for more. Do not forget to subscribe to get more info about pests, pets, and animals as well. Thank you!


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