Anyone keep Argiope spp?

EightLeggedFrea

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Does anyone have any advice on keeping Argiopes (orb weavers/writing spiders)? I have been seeing several large females everywhere around the house and am thinking about catching one.
 

Terry D

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Never tried it but would imagine you'd need a fairly large enclosure for an Argiope- for it to make that enormous web, that is. I'm guessing they are fairly short-lived as you almost never see the large females 'til fairly late in summer. Let us know how it goes if you decide to try it. ;)
 

EightLeggedFrea

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Yeah that's what I figured. I asked b/c I've seen them for sale on Todd Gearhart's website from time to time, but couldn't find much captive care info about them. Not sure if I will try it or not, though.
 

MichiganReptiles

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My husband just went out on a herp and vert "hunt" today with John Apple and brought a few of these back. They're pretty cool. I let two of the three of them go in our trees, but I'm hanging onto the A. trifaciata for a while just to observe it. I'll probably let it go as well in a few days.
 

Josh1129

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Yes they are short lived. The females are getting ready if they have not already to lay their eggs, and then they die. It is such a shame too cause they are beautiful.
 

John Apple

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A twenty high works pretty good for argiope I have found...use a screen top and a u shaped stick to attach the web to...a low wattage bulb is necessary as these guys do bask a lot.....a light morning misting does them wonders...the adult females can produce many many sacs over the winter period....not as hard to keep alive and well as most folk think
 

FlawedCoil82

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Aug 13, 2009
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Yes they are short lived. The females are getting ready if they have not already to lay their eggs, and then they die. It is such a shame too cause they are beautiful.
Yea, it really is a shame. I look forward to watching/feeding these every summer. But it seems like no sooner that I find them, then they end up dying or mysteriously disappearing with only a ragged looking web left behind. I am assuming something is killing them (birds, praying mantis, wasps, etc.) When they are on my property though, they are under my protection and any creature I actually catch eating/attacking them, pays with their lives.

I've never figured out a way to keep Argiope spiders as pets. I just try to bring them in over night before a hard frost hits, but that still doesn't benefit them because food is harder to come by. I also do not have a cage that would be big enough (nor the space for one). But they are like my pets when they are outside. I try to feed them daily and study them.
Jack
 

agriope

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Oct 17, 2010
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Argiope Died

A twenty high works pretty good for argiope I have found...use a screen top and a u shaped stick to attach the web to...a low wattage bulb is necessary as these guys do bask a lot.....a light morning misting does them wonders...the adult females can produce many many sacs over the winter period....not as hard to keep alive and well as most folk think
We had lots of Argiopes in the yard this year. The kids fell in love with one of them and named her Cleo. They spent more time talking and watching Cleo than they did with their regular pets.

So when the summer came to an end I brought Cleo in. I set her up in a terrarium with a screen top. I place an inch or two of soil in the bottom. I put several branching types of sticks into the terrarium.

I think having a terrarium that is high enough for Argiopes is important. The terrarium I had her in was maybe two feet long, one foot wide and a foot high. Also, she built her web attached to the inside of the screen lid. This made it really hard to get in and out of the terrarium when I needed to. Next time I'll make certain the spider can't built the web in a way that blocks access to the enclosure.

I purchased some flies and crickets. I would occasionally place a cricket on web - which she would rapidly consume. The crickets though were really hard on her web and would tear it to shreds. So I stopped feeding her with crickets.

The flies would get caught up in the web and I would occasionally see her eating one. But more often than not the fly would just sit there in the web and she would ignore them.

I would mist the enclosure daily.

So who knows why she died. I think the flies weren't the best food stock for her. I've read articles about "watering" argiopes but I don't know how that was done. I made certain that she and her web got some of the daily mist. She didn't appear to be dehydrated - no shriveling or shrinking. Her body was large and plump right up to her death.

I have a small colony of wax moths pupating. They probably would have been better food but we never got that far.

At any rate, the kids are bummed out.
 

Peter_Parker

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nephila vs. argiope

We kept Nephila pilipes for a research project at the university a semester or two ago.. The females were HUGE and we ended up building custom enclosures out of a light screen mesh and some wooden dowels screwed/hot glued together for them. If I'm not mistaken the setups were 3'x3' squares and I'd imagine that most Argiope could be kept in a similar manner. We only had one or two specimens this semester and we didn't keep them for the research long enough to set them up in a separate enclosure, so I am not sure. The problem is that temperate Argiope just don't live very long once they reach adulthood... someone should try and get some non-mated juvenile females and raise them to see if they will live longer if they don't produce an egg sac.
 

FlawedCoil82

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Now in this one children's book about garden spiders I have, it states that argiopes in warmer/tropical climates can live for several years, as long as they aren't killed by frosts and cold winters. Is that true or do all argiopes, regardless of where they live, only live for less than one year?
Jack
 

GartenSpinnen

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Now in this one children's book about garden spiders I have, it states that argiopes in warmer/tropical climates can live for several years, as long as they aren't killed by frosts and cold winters. Is that true or do all argiopes, regardless of where they live, only live for less than one year?
Jack
I heard that as well about tropical Argiope sp., but supposedly in non-tropical climates where the first frost kills off the female, that if taken indoors and kept in captivity these species can live just as long in some cases. Other sources say just a year, two at the most is rare.

I think it is a matter of trying to keep something indoors that webs such a large web. Not very many people feel comfortable with a big yellow spider living free range inside their home. I love spiders but I sure as hell would not want to wake up to an Argiope on my face lol
 

Mudmusher

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Oct 17, 2017
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I heard that as well about tropical Argiope sp., but supposedly in non-tropical climates where the first frost kills off the female, that if taken indoors and kept in captivity these species can live just as long in some cases. Other sources say just a year, two at the most is rare.

I think it is a matter of trying to keep something indoors that webs such a large web. Not very many people feel comfortable with a big yellow spider living free range inside their home. I love spiders but I sure as hell would not want to wake up to an Argiope on my face lol
I brought one inside when it started to get chilly. She set up housekeeping among the plants of a south facing window. I throw her a grasshopper or caterpillar every couple days. Thus far she hasn't moved from that spot ( no Argiope on my face yet ;) )
I have found a couple of threads on keeping Argiopes inside but nothing on how successful anyone has been. How long has anyone had one last indoors?
 
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