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Scary Mystery Spider
updated: Oct 18, 2012, 10:01 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

Does anybody know what kind of spider this is. I've never seen one before and hope to never again! He is 3 inches across in his present pose. Just NASTY!!!

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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 332790 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-18 10:10 AM

It is a harmless garden spider called, Argiope aurantia. They are found throughout the U.S. and world. Like most spiders, they eat insects. Their venom is harmless to humans. Enjoy your visitor....and, you got some great shots!


 COMMENT 332798 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-18 10:27 AM

Common name is "Big Ol' Spider." Won't hurt you.


 COMMENT 332799 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-18 10:29 AM

That is Georgina.


 COMMENT 332803 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-18 10:32 AM

ohhhh sweetness! she's fricken pritty!


 MTNDRIVER agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-18 11:18 AM

Whoa, not nasty at all! Like 790 says, Argiope aurantia. Common garden spider. I think they're beautiful.


 COMMENT 332845 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-18 11:58 AM

Why don't I have one of those hanging around in my garden? I'm jealous.
Nice photos. Those are some fancy stripes! Hope you left her alone to do her job.


 COMMENT 332852 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-18 12:11 PM

Gorgeous. Happy Halloween! I always called these St. Andrew's Cross spiders (the genus in general - because of how they sit on the web). Also, the Argiope genus is known for this cool zigzag in the middle of their webs that looks like they are writing. Pretty awesome spiders.


 COMMENT 332875 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-18 12:47 PM

Amazing. And keep your eye out for a smaller version hanging out (haw haw), most probably a boyfriend come calling!


 COMMENT 332957 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-18 03:16 PM

EMUWREN1, if you want some of these spiders, be lazy like me. I don't wipe the spiderwebs of my eaves very often, and the spiders have proliferated. I probably have at least 5-10 hanging around. The only downside is walking into a web early in the morning.


 COMMENT 332978 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-18 03:46 PM

That is a Aglop Desconlictus Raptura

extremely venomous and rare - probably came from South America - it can actually catch and eat a small bird

Call a fireman to take care of it - they make lots of money and need something to do besides wash their trucks and watch Oprah


 COMMENT 333118 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-19 02:24 AM

OP here. It turns out this is a Argiope Trifaciata. Apparently it is harmless to us. Still intimidating though pretty.


 COMMENT 333151 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-19 08:30 AM

I have lots of these spiders (Argiope aurantia) in my garden. I usually name them and keep track of them until they can no longer be found. They're harmless and eat many of my other more harmful bugs and insects.
If you think that spider is intimidating in appearance, be thankful you don't live out in the desert where you might run into one of the wind scorpion species found in our local area ... like anywhere in the Los Padres National Forest or in the Mojave Desert. Google "Wind Scorpion" for photographs. These are very aggressive little critters.

"The wind scorpion has been called the official arachnid of the war in Iraq. One soldier described it as the "most grotesque-looking thing you've ever seen," and several legends have grown up around it. For example, it is said that the creature runs more than 25 miles (40 kilometers) an hour, makes noises like a screaming baby, and warrants the name 'camel spider' because it scampers onto camels' stomachs and feeds on them until their intestines fall out—none of which are true. The wind scorpion actually runs about a mile an hour, makes no noise at all, and eats small desert creatures like insects and lizards. Its formidable appearance has long fascinated troops in the area: During World War I, soldiers stationed in Egypt staged fights between captive wind scorpions and placed bets on the outcome."


 COMMENT 333227P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-19 10:48 AM

How do you identify between A. aurantia and A. trifaciata?


 COMMENT 333248P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-10-19 11:34 AM

Dan, just watched a movie that referenced this activity of "spider fighting" by soldiers in the Egyptian desert during WWII. Their champion was named 'Fred'.


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