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Argiope argentata is a species of spider in the family Araneidae (orb-weavers), found from the United States south to Chile and Argentina.[1][2] It is a member of the genus Argiope and is commonly known as the silver argiope.[3]

Argiope argentata
Female in California (dorsal side)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Infraorder: Araneomorphae
Family: Araneidae
Genus: Argiope
A. argentata
Binomial name
Argiope argentata
(Fabricius, 1775)[1]
  • Aranea argentata Fabricius, 1775
  • Aranea mammeata De Geer, 1778
  • Aranea mammata Olivier, 1789
  • Epeira mammata (Olivier, 1789)
  • Argyopes argentatus (Fabricius, 1775)
  • Argyopes fenestrinus C. L. Koch, 1838
  • Epeira argentata (Fabricius, 1775)
  • Epeira amictoria Walckenaer, 1841
  • Plectana sloanii Walckenaer, 1841
  • Epeira gracilis Keyserling, 1865
  • Argiope carinata L. Koch, 1871
  • Argyopes maronicus Taczanowski, 1873
  • Argyopes subtilis Taczanowski, 1873
  • Acrosoma sloanii (Walckenaer, 1841)
  • Argyopes hirtus Taczanowski, 1879
  • Argiope waughi Simon, 1896
  • Araneus gracilis (Keyserling, 1865)
  • Micrathena sloanei Petrunkevitch, 1911
  • Gea panamensis Chamberlin, 1917
  • Argiope argyrea Badcock, 1932
  • Argiope cuyunii Hingston, 1932
  • Argiope filiargentata Hingston, 1932
  • Argiope filinfracta Hingston, 1932
  • Micrathena sloani Mello-Leitão, 1932
  • Singa gracilis (Keyserling, 1865)
  • Aranea gracilenta Roewer, 1942
  • Argiope indistincta Mello-Leitão, 1944
  • Argiope hirta (Taczanowski, 1879)



As with most members of the genus Argiope,[citation needed] the female of the species tends to be much larger than the male.[4] The body of Argiope argentata tends to be primarily silver with brown and orange colorations further back on the abdomen on the top, and with a primarily brown underbelly. The legs have bands of orange, black, and silver. The female can be up to 35 mm in length whereas the male tends to be 20 mm or less.[citation needed]

Females of the Argiope blanda species are very similar to Argiope argentata females. The species can potentially be distinguished due to the four projections on the abdomen being more rounded on A. argentata, differing ventral markings, differing genitalia (the only sure distinguisher), and within the United States, A. blanda's range being limited to the southern tip of Texas.[2][5][6][7]


Like other members of Argiope, silver argiopes often spin stabilimenta into their webs.[2][4] These often take the form of zigzag lines,[2][4] and frequently there are four of them[2] forming a centerless "X" shape near the center of the web; the spider then rests in the very middle, with four pairs of legs each drawn together and splayed out in an "X" shape more or less aligned with the stabilimentum "X".

Silver argiopes' webs are often also home to dewdrop spiders (Argyrodes). These are small kleptoparasitic or commensal spiders which feed on insects trapped by their host's web.[2][4]

Female silver argiope (bottom-left), with dewdrop spider (top-right, also with silver abdomen) living in its web, in California


The range of Argiope argentata extends from the USA in the north (between southern California and Florida) to as far as Argentina in the south,[2] although it prefers warmer, dryer areas.[citation needed] They can often be found on prickly pears in the fall.[4]



  1. ^ a b c "Taxon details Argiope argentata (Fabricius, 1775)". World Spider Catalog. Natural History Museum Bern. Retrieved 2016-05-08.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Berrian, Jim. "SDNHM: Silver Argiope spider (Argiope argentata)". San Diego Natural History Museum. Archived from the original on 2012-01-04. Retrieved 2017-08-16.
  3. ^ Smithsonian Institution. "Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute-Argiope argentata". Retrieved 2017-08-16.
  4. ^ a b c d e Bryant, Peter J. (2015-12-28). "Silver argiope, Argiope argentata". University of California, Irvine. Retrieved 2017-08-16.
  5. ^ Elliott, Lynette; Heins, Chad (2015-07-16). "Species Argiope blanda - BugGuide.Net". Retrieved 2017-08-16.
  6. ^ Elliott, Lynette; M, Katherine (2012-12-14). "Possible blanda (ID not verified) - Argiope blanda - BugGuide.Net". Retrieved 2017-08-16.
  7. ^ Elliott, Lynette; Burton, Henry; Ferguson, David J.; Edmonds, Matt (2012-12-14). "WHAT IS THIS SPIDER - Argiope - BugGuide.Net". Retrieved 2017-08-16.

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