02 January 2013

Signature Spider

The Signature Spider (Argiope Anasuja) is also known as the Writing Spider and the Garden Spider. It is commonly found in India often in one’s garden or backyard. Recently someone visiting my house mentioned that I had a signature spider at my front door. I went to look and was so interested by the zigzag pattern on its web which gives it the name “Signature Spider” that I checked the internet to learn more.

This spider is found all over the world. There are around 75 known different species, and although different in colouration each species shares the same distinctive striping on its body. The Signature Spider builds its web close to the ground in order to catch low flying insects such as bees and wasps that travel from flower to flower and is able to eat insects twice its size. This spider’s web is almost invisible except for zigzag stripes on the web. These zigzag stripes are known as the “stabilmentum".

When the web is built the signature spider lines up its legs with the white stripes of the zigzag. The centre of the web is hollow and this is where the spider sits. It groups its legs together to appear as a four legged creature but also when its legs are together, the hairs on the legs intertwine and act as a sun reflector along with the bright flower. white X in its web. The spider’s legs reflect the sun and its brightly coloured body dupes insects into thinking it is a flower.


The male (which is smaller than the female), spins a web alongside the female’s web known as a companion web, after mating the female will kill the male and then lay her eggs onto this companion web and wrap them up into a sac. This sac can hold from 400 to 1,400 egg. The eggs hatch in the autumn but they remain locked inside until spring. Spiders are cannibals and they eat each other to stay alive in the sac until they are strong enough to break through the sac walls. 

The venom of the Signature Spider is harmless to humans. It is used throughout the world for therapeutic medical agents and as an ingredient in beauty products.


Anonymous said...

I have been observing my signature 'SPIDEY' since last week of June. I document her growth via photos. I have some pretty
3photos... if you care to see them. Linda V

Meenakshi Ammal said...

Hi Linda:

Your little spider sounds to be a part of the family -- as it should be. Unfortunately my little 'un was on the outside of my front door (silly thing!) and think he relocated because of the disturbance of the front door banging open and closed.

Yes, do please send the photos of your little Spidey.

Meenakshi Ammal

Vickie said...

I have a couple of good pictures as well. I would be happy to share with you. One of them was taken this morning

Meenakshi Ammal said...

Hi Vickie:

Yes, would happy for you to send along your snaps of the signature spider. Its a lovely little creature. You can email me at: arunachalagrace@fastmail.fm


Unknown said...

Thank you for this wealth of knowledge! I saw a sognasign spider recently and thanks to you I've got to know a lot about it.