Banded garden spider (Argiope trifasciata, Forskål) hatchlings, Justin, Texas
Report and Photographs Courtesy of Stephen M., 28 July 2007
Jerry---I went out today to get photos of the underside of the banded garden spider, but she was not out where I could see her. I did get several pictures of her babies and attached one for you. While there I noticed, about 20 feet away in a tree, a huge yellow garden spider. You already have several others posted of this species, but I got great shots of the underside and frontal and direct for the eyes. If you wish, I'll send them on. I am looking for other types to send you as well---Steve [Editor's Note: Justin, Texas, is between Fort Worth and Denton, just west of Interstate 35W]
The basic background coloration of the abdomen of mature banded garden spiders (Argiope trifasciata) is yellow, though that color is masked by the lateral silver and black marks that cover the abdomens of mature specimens. In the juvenile the yellow background is uncluttered by those marks and thus predominates. These hatchlings have lighter-colored carapaces and sternums, blackened faces and spinnerets, and some have a black stripe that extends upward from the spinnerets onto a portion of the dorsal abdomen.
The hatchling shown above has small, unremarkable pedipalps, but in this stage of development that does not indicate the spider's sex. As the spiderling matures, the pedipalps of the male will enlarge, while those of the female will remain much the same as in the hatchling. Note the black margin of the sternum, and the posterior black mark on the tail
In the hatchling the carapace is covered with coarse silvery hairs, and the abdomen sports a dense covering of short silvery hairs. In some of these hatchlings the legs are unmarked, while in others the tips are darkened.
Note that in the chelicerae, or mouthparts, are pale, colored much like the pale coloration of the carapace, while the eyes and surrounding areas are black.
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