Argiope aurantia on my porch

possumburg

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Aug 8, 2010
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Not sure if this is the right place for this but I wanted to share this pic I just took on my porch. Pretty awesome I think! Fed him a cricket and he attacked it!
 

Moltar

ArachnoGod
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Nice! I wish one or two of these gals would find my yard.
 

Travis K

TravIsGinger
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I have been thinking about bringing in an Araneus gemmoides ((sub-species)I say sub-species due to the huge differences that occur within gemmoides depending on geographic location) and placing it on a branch in my Spider Room. However I am actually more interested in large golden orb weaver to do this with as they are foreign to me thus a little more interesting.
 

jsloan

Arachnoangel
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Jun 22, 2004
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I have been thinking about bringing in an Araneus gemmoides ((sub-species)I say sub-species due to the huge differences that occur within gemmoides depending on geographic location)
What sort of differences?
 

chris_vegas

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Oct 23, 2008
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had a lovely one on my porch, went to check on her this morning and she's gone web and all :? ....probably a bird got her
 

Travis K

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What sort of differences?
coloration and proportions for the most part, I should start photographing. I really need a good DSLR with a nice macro lens before I can really get into documenting all the fauna I come across.
 

Terry D

Arachnodemon
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Nov 21, 2009
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Joey, Nice pics. Had a great time kicking it with ya in hentzi habitat today!

Cheers bro, :)

Terry
 

jsloan

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coloration and proportions for the most part, I should start photographing. I really need a good DSLR with a nice macro lens before I can really get into documenting all the fauna I come across.
When it comes to subspecies you have to be very careful about what is or isn't a big enough difference to desginate a subspecies as opposed to a variation within a species. I would say that you are probably looking at variations within a single species, based on my experience last year with another Araneus species, A. marmoreus, which also shows a lot of variation in color and pattern. Here is a link with pictures showing many of the variations possible in that species, and none of them are considered subspecies:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/2016

Another thing is that many of these spiders change color as the season progresses, depending on things like their age, exposure to sunlight and also how much they've been eating. I documented one A. marmoreus last season that started out grey and was orange a few weeks later.

Variations in size are also normal for many spider species, including orb weavers. In any population of spiders, some individuals undergo an extra molt and are larger than their conspecifics (fellow spiders of the same species). Also, within a spider population some individuals are more successful at catching food than others, and that can affect their adult size (one arachnologist told me that in times of famine a spider can even end up a little smaller after molting if it hasn't had much food between molts).

So, there are a lot of reasons why spiders in the same species can have varying colors, patterns or sizes that aren't genetic and so don't necessarily qualify them for subspecies status.
 
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The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
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Aug 8, 2005
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"A knavish speech sleeps in a foolish ear." - W. Shakespeare (Hamlet)

Quick question. While we have some pretty hefty Nephila around here, clevata being common, we have no golden orb weavers. However, they are quite common about 500 miles to the south.
So my question is, can the golden be relocated. It averages 10 degrees F cooler here, and only gets about 3/4ths the rainfall. Otherwise the geography, local fauna and flora, and the environments such as banana groves are very similar.

PS. Didn't mean to hijack the thread. That is one beautiful pidey.
 

8ighth Wonder

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Aug 14, 2010
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Honestly it is very much possible. As we all know things in nature tend to adapt and overcome frequently. Think about the "killer bees".
 

jsloan

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Jun 22, 2004
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For Travis K - you seem interested in classification of species/subspecies, and I remembered this book that goes into great detail about how species are named, described, etc. Thought I'd recommend it to you: Describing Species - Practical Taxonomic Procedure for Biologists by Judith E. Winston. There is an entire chapter on subspecies. :) It's a little pricey, but maybe you can find it in a university library. Here's a link to it on Amazon.com with more info on the contents:

http://www.amazon.com/Describing-Species-Judith-Winston/dp/0231068255
 
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