Anybody have any idea what kind of spider this is?
What you’re seeing there is the underside of it. The top is black with oblong yellow splotches running down either side of its back.
I saw this fucker next to my light pole when I was unloading some shit out of my truck. The bitch-screaming was epic.
The finger comparison doesn’t do the size justice – my finger’s a couple inches in front of it and there’s no way in hell I was going to get it any closer.
In normal crawling mode its leg span is bigger that a silver dollar and when it’s stretched out it’s almost 4 inches from the tip of its back legs to the tip of its front legs. I’ve seen smaller tarantulas when I was in California.

I didn’t kill it because I want to show it to Woody when he comes over Friday to help me move a refrigerator. Besides, I’m out of buckshot.

Wait, I think I found it HERE. It appears to be a Zipper Spider, also known as a Garden Spider. This one must be on steroids.

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55 Responses to HOLY SHIT!!!

  1. Swamprabbit says:

    Hey ken, I believe it is in the Banana spider family, but not 100% sure. There are different verities of them.

    • Wirecutter says:

      I believe you’re correct – the web is right as well as the looks of the damned thing.

    • DisparityFlux says:

      Yes, a female garden spider. Such a female hung a web just outside the kitchen window, and on one night my wife and I were able to witness her mating with a much smaller brown male. The male spider announced its intent by lightly strumming her web before slowly descending to her as she sat in the middle of her web. He quickly mounted her while continuously stroking her and when done rapidly dropped on his line below her web. Tried to video it, but lighting glare off the kitchen window prevented capturing the event. I periodically fed her with crickets tossed into her web, and she left an egg sack attached to the soffit above the window upon her death in mid fall — just like in the story Charlotte’s Web.

  2. huh? says:

    To me, that looks like a golden orb spider. We also called them banana spiders where I grew up. They are non poisonous, but caution is indicated. As I recall, they liked to string their webs at head height in the walkway between the cars and the house in the hours between sunset and dawn. More than once I ran into them. Yes, I screamed too.

  3. Judy says:

    Garden spider – taking care of pests in your garden – one of the good guys. They can get bigger than that and their webs are huge, kind of a hassle while picking tomatoes and peppers.

  4. Roy says:

    It’s a common garden spider. These things are harmless and are quite common this time of year. They build very intricate orb webs but unless you are very arachnophobic, or it’s in the way, that is, has built its web in your doorway, I would just leave it alone. I think they’re interesting to watch as they build their web and they’re only hazardous to other bugs.

  5. Winston Smith says:

    Harmless. Youll see a lot of them and other larger than average spider this time of year in TN. Until it freezes anyway.

  6. rightwingterrorist says:

    Garden spider/writing spider. They’re pretty cool to watch.

  7. Bman says:

    Yep. Just a harmless garden spider. Out in eastern Washington I’v seen some real monsters.

  8. Klaus says:

    Yeah,everyone’s got it.Shes a Garden spider. Anything that helps to cull the biting insect population is good to keep around.

  9. J. Simmons says:

    Writing spider, which is a type of orb weaver. Not dangerous (its bite is on par with a bee sting.), and very good at keeping flying insect populations down.

    From Wiki:

    The genus Argiope includes rather large spiders that often have a strikingly coloured abdomen. These spiders are distributed throughout the world. Most countries in tropical or temperate climates host one or more species that are similar in appearance. The etymology of Argiope is from a Latin word argentum meaning silver.[2] The carapace of Argiope species is typically covered in silvery hairs.

    The average orb web is practically invisible, and it is easy to blunder into one and end up covered with a sticky web. The visible pattern of banded silk made by Argiope is pure white, and some species make an “X” form, or a zigzag type of web (often with a hollow centre). The spider then aligns one pair of its legs with each of the four lines in the hollow “X”, making a complete “X” of white lines with a very eye-catching spider forming its centre.

    The zigzag patterns, called stabilimenta, reflect UV light.[2] They have been shown to play a role in attracting prey to the web, and possibly in preventing its destruction by large animals. The centres of their large webs are often just under 1 metre above the ground, so they are too low for anything much larger than a rabbit to walk under. The overtness of the spider and its web thus has been speculated to prevent larger creatures from accidentally destroying the web and possibly crushing the spider underfoot.

  10. Goetz von Berlichingen says:

    I once saw a small lizard caught in a Black Widow’s web. Huge black widow. I am still freaked out, 10 yrs later,

    • Wirecutter says:

      Black Widows are a fact of life where I came from. Most were pretty small, maybe the size of your thumbnail, but every great once in a while I’d see one twice that size and there’s no doubt in my mind they could eat a lizard.

  11. paulb says:

    They are big, but pretty docile. We have a lot of them up here that size, when it is warm.

  12. al says:

    Leave him be, he eats more bugs in a week than you will in a month unless your eating a happy meal in which case he’s a close second.

  13. Mike says:

    Yes, Writing Spider, they are common here in eastern NC. At least when a damned hurricane isn’t coming through drowning them and everything else.

  14. Bacon says:

    All of these different names refer to the SAME spider:
    Black and Yellow Garden Spider
    Writing Spider
    Garden Spider
    Yellow Garden Spider
    Common Garden Spider
    Black and Yellow Argiope
    Golden Orb-weaver
    Argiope aurantia

    Don’t kill it, man. It’s not aggressive or harmful, and it’s MUCH more scared of you than you are of it. Besides, they usually only live a year, winter kills them.

    If it knows you’re coming it will probably run and hide, although if you manage to get too close before it can run away it might vibrate the web to appear larger.

  15. Midwest says:

    Oh man- keep in mind that in early fall… As you walk through knee-thigh high grassy field (MidWest) those suckers are EVERYWHERE.
    Yes -the EEEK vs EEWWW factor IS HiGH! THAT is another top reason I carry a ‘poker stick’ (to poke stuff!) when out walking…
    Then there are the lil spiders that string LONGGG thin webs between the trees- teh lil spider looks like a bit of dead leaf. Web in face every 10 feet- YUK! Spider crawling on me??? Sometimes yes…
    All non poisonous- but yah- ACK!
    Poker stick leads the way~ low carry in field for web deflection. High carry in trees for web deflection… LOL

  16. Eastwood says:

    We called them writing spiders and in the South with all our superstitios I was told if they write your name in their web it means you will die. Of coarse we are all going to die so WTF.

  17. bocopro says:

    I grew up in a small town in corn and Duroc country. On the edge of town, actually. Grandparents raised me. Coal furnace, and no A/C in those days, just open windows for fresh air in nice weather.

    Mom (my grandmother) kept a cat in the basement, one in the house, and one in the back yard . . . to keep the rats and mice out of the food and other things she stored in the basement, the baseboards and other hiding places in the house, and the chicken coop & corn crib outside.

    Wouldn’t let us kill a spider. Said if not for them, we’d be swattin flies all day and skeeters all night. Never saw a black widow up there, or brown recluse either.

    She also said you could count the total number of dangerous snakes in the entire Ohio Valley on the fingers of one basketball team, so we couldn’t kill snakes either.

    Same woman who held my hand with a sharp knife to cut the throat of a hog when I was about 5, then helped me pull the guts out into slop buckets so I could take ’em down to the creek and rinse ’em out for chitlins and sausage casings.

    Seemed like I musta killed and plucked a thousand chickens before I was 10 years old. You got chickens, you ain’t got roaches, bugs, crickets, or spiders around your house on the outside. Always spiders inside, tho, up high where the cats couldn’t get at ’em.

  18. Jack58 says:

    You big wienie..I’ve seen ones like her three times that big tromping through the Trinity River bottoms..It’s the Cottonmouths you gotta watch out for – those fuckers WILL chase your ass and then you’ve got to watch out from shooting your own feet as you back away spewing metal-jackets.

  19. Kw says:

    Also, it’s a very pregnant female.

  20. Chris in Michigan says:

    Argiopes aurantia, I think. I worked at a nature center while in high school (just after the discovery of fire). We had the kiddies toss a small grasshopper into the web of one of these and watched the spider attack and wrap it up for later. Fascinating and the stuff nightmares are made of.

  21. drjim says:

    Used to see those all over the place when I was a kid. They’d spin YUUUUGE webs between the milkweed stalks, and in the morning they were full of bugs they snared in one night.

  22. Gene Small says:

    I’ve got them all over the place right now, but most are smaller. It’s a cardio workout when you run into one of their webs outside after dark, lol.

  23. JB says:

    Garden spider. I toss ’em grasshoppers and such occasionally to keep ’em energized for all the other pests they eat. they’re really beneficial to have around as well as fascinating to watch, the way they wrap up their catches. If ya take a grass stem and gently poke it’s belly, it’ll start rockin’ it’s web like crazy. Dunno why, but it’s interesting to watch.
    My wife ain’t even afraid of ’em, she’ll feed ’em too. They catch a shitload’a bugs.

  24. JB says:

    Yeah. I have a story about one of those. Nearly two decades ago I worked in an office. Small company. Maybe 50 people total. One of those had a web outside one of the windows. A couple of the younger guys went out back and threw a katydid at the web. Went straight through it hit the window. But it caught on the web when it went through. Which caused the spider to go nuts looking for dinner. That katydid was splayed FLAT against the window. It’s hind legs stretched completely out to get as flat as it could against the window. The spider began strumming the web and the entire thing was bouncing.

    Now when this happened some of us, including me, were standing inside watching. Let me repeat that. We were STANDING INSIDE WATCHING. We weren’t close to the window. In fact I was about ten feet AWAY from the window.

    Lunch passes. Afternoon sets in and I’m bored and need a break. I peek over the cubicle wall and see the spider in the middle of the web. I’m about 25 feet away. I walk over and as I round the corner of the cubicle wall the spider immediately begins strumming the web. Violently. I stopped cold. I’m now ~15 feet away watching this thing. I turn and walk back behind the cubicle wall. I peek over and watch as it stops. I wait a few minutes and repeat. Sure enough as soon as I walk around the corner of the cubicle wall it starts up again. Intrigued, I devise an experiment.

    I wait about ten minutes and then ask a colleague, who wasn’t there earlier, to come over and look at this spider. He agrees and walks around the cubicle wall. I peek over and watch. Did that spider start strumming it’s web? No sir! In fact he walked right up to the window and the spider did NOTHING!

    Shocked, I walked over to check things out. As soon as I rounded the corner it started strumming that web. My colleague took a few steps back and couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Me? I turned around and walked away.

    I did nothing to this spider except be present when two guys threw a bug at it’s web. The spider didn’t just recognize me later. It knew the difference between me and a colleague who wasn’t there before. The spider recognized me. Think about that.

  25. livin to ride says:

    that’s a little one ;-)

  26. nwoldude says:

    Used to see lots of them in the hood in Detroilet back in the fifties. Also called them ‘banana spiders’. I don’t see them here in NW Michigan.

  27. emdfl says:

    Heh, That’s a little ‘un. Look up “grove spiders” if you want to see the nightmares you get when chasing each other through the orange groves at night.

  28. Arc says:

    Common garden spider, banana spider, zebra spider… etc, Orb weavers get just as big and are everywhere. Fuckers make their webs in pathways.

  29. Tom W. says:

    Charlotte’s web garden/writing spider. Used to feed them grasshoppers in my garden. Natural pest control don’t kill them

    Would catch grasshoppers in my garden flick then in the head and toss them into the web
    They were dispatched in short order. Good Omen. They are good

  30. singlestack says:

    I have them all over my yard. They make webs attached to the ground, the tree above, and the truck. They also make them in the opening formed by my porch roof, posts, and rails. They can be as big as 3 to 5 feet in diameter. Every once in a while I’ll go around the corner of the house and walk into one and do the freakout dance.

  31. Cpl/Major Mike says:

    Growing up in the upper midwest garden spiders were as common as dirt but that didn’t mean I wouldn’t just about shit myself if I got surprised by one. They make short work of grasshoppers, bag em up like a mummy in nothing flat.chu Living on the west coast we don’t see them much but we do have the orb spiders with about a thumb nail size body and little short legs which are even creepier because they will build right across a sidewalk at about head high, you can really show some dance moves walking into one of those.

  32. matt says:

    Banana spider. Had grape vines about 50 feet long when I was a kid. A whole bunch of them lived in there. Kind of freaked me out when I went to pick them. Harmless yep bit creepy when your a kid.

  33. Unclezip says:

    That’s just a baby.

  34. Kevin says:

    We always called them corn spiders. Growing up on a farm, I always found them around the end rows. I spent many an evening as a kid shooting them with my pellet gun. See how far away I could stand from them and still hit them. They were everywhere.

  35. ZombieDawg says:

    Baby on the spider scale…
    Now what’s the name of that HUGE one that lives in Brazil I think. Body over a foot long and its webs can stop people…that’s nightmare material.

  36. UH1H CE says:

    Out of Buckshot? What gives? BrObama’s been out of office for almost 2 years. Everyone, (except you) has buckshot. Get on down to WallyWorld and restock. The Commie/Muslin/Zombie apocalypse is just a few weeks away.

  37. chad says:

    In FL we just call them Argiopes. What we call banana spiders are more yellow, less black.

  38. LMC says:

    Like Kevin said we used to find them in the rows of corn when I was growing up. Of course, running at full speed you never saw them until just before you ran through their web and started doing the I think I’ve got a spider on me dance.

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