We all know what spiders are. The color, structure, activities of spiders, etc. everything is known to us. But have you ever heard of writing spiders? Yes, you read it right.
You may have heard stories of a giant spider who can write your name on its web & will kill you if you distort its web in any case. These are none other than writing spiders, but the story is just to scare kids to stay away from such insects.
No, the spiders can’t write, but still, the name is a big confusion. Let’s solve this riddle of the writing spider.
Structure/Appearance Of Writing Spiders
Belonging to the species Argiope aurantia, Writing Spider is a yellow and black colored huge bug that can be spotted in a backyard in Summers. It’s a dark sphere-weaving insect that weaves webs made of silk that reflects UV rays.
It’s not very different from other spiders. Resembling other orb-weaving spiders, it has a third claw that functions in weaving circular webs. These weaved webs are stronger than steel.
Though these writing spiders can’t see properly but have high sensitivity to vibrations of the flying insects around.
The sexuality of Writing Spiders-Just like any other spider is unisexual. Female writing spiders grow larger than males. Females have more strength & hence live longer than male writing spiders. Males usually die after mating, while females can survive afterward.
Uniquely Named As Writing Spiders
Whenever a spider builds a web, it releases a zig-zag-like product to give it a web shape. In the case of these unique spiders, their release or stabilimenta looks like someone’s writing, hence named as writing spiders.
Do you know that the reason for such a release by spiders is still unknown? However, some scientists claim that these zig-zag structures help them in attracting their prey & offering them strength.
Writing Spider has found various names throughout the globe like:
- Corn Spider
- Zigzag Spider, Zipper Spider, Writing Spider (because of the zigzag characteristic of its web)
- Yellow Garden Spider, Golden Garden Spider, Black & Yellow Garden Spider (because of its color)
- Steeler Spider (because of its weaved web being as strong as steel)
Niche of Writing Spiders
These yellow & black colored spiders are quite common in the United States. The writing spiders are found in warm climatic conditions around shrubs & tall trees in Hawaii, Mexico, Canada & throughout Central America. The reason for living in such warm conditions is that they require sunlight. This is the reason they weave UV reflecting webs.
Feeding Habits Of Writing Spiders
These writing spiders feed on aerial insects like wasps, mosquitos, flies, moths, etc.
How Do Writing Spiders Predate On Their Flying Prey?
The writing spiders are very smart. They weave their web so that they can hang upside down in the middle of the web & use their ability to sense vibrations to catch their flying prey. Their stabilimenta, a constituent of their web, aids in attracting their prey.
The web being stronger than steel offers great help in catching their prey.
Reproduction In Writing Spiders
Writing spiders multiply at a tremendous rate. They can mate once a year or once a lifetime but they can produce an average of 300 to 1500 babies.
Male writing spiders initiate this process by sticking in the web of a female spider. The webs being highly sensitive to the vibrations made in them, activate & aware female writing spiders. The males pluck the web combs of females & then they mate.
After intercourse, mostly the male partner dies just in an hour. To this, females respond by wrapping a male writing spider’s body in her web & throwing it away.
Life Cycle Of ZigZag Spiders Or Writing Spiders
The durability of writing spiders is just an annum. This can be enhanced based on living conditions, the warmth of climate & the functioning of spiders.
Usually, females live longer than males. Male writing spiders usually die after 30 minutes of intercourse which they can just do once in their life. However, the mating rate of female writing spiders is usually high.
Writing Spiders: Lethal Or Harmless?
This is big bafflement, right? Don’t worry! The writing spiders are completely safe for humans. These are non-lethal flies that just feed on other flying insects, as mentioned above.
They only bite in a reaction to being provoked just for their own safety.
If a human is allergic to such insect bites, this can offer a problem. Otherwise, the bite is full of pain but offers no risk to life.
Kids, older adults & those with allergies & weak immune systems should take extra precautions to refrain from such painful bites.
How To Shoo Away Such Harmless Writing Spiders?
Though being non-lethal & cute too, their comparatively huge size & very bright appearance may not permit you to pet them. The writing spiders are quite common to be found in your backyard in Summers near your planted rose shrub or a mango tree. Thus they may not offer problems to you but surely to your plants.
In such a scenario, you can shoo them away from your backyard by tearing down their webs from your property or using lights that are too sensitive for such spiders.
If this doesn’t work, you can sprinkle peppermint oil on both the spiders & their webs.
If you’ve become excited to locate such a writing spider,now you know the places in the United States where you can discover them. Just be conscious not to tear down their webs, otherwise you may see your own name written on the web the next morning. Don’t be scared. This is just fun but why to distort the webs made by these bright golden writing spiders made with hard work done throughout their life.