Wasp Spider (fem.)

Argiope bruennichi

preview hoet 00017 argiope bruennichi wespenspinneWasp Spider is one of the most attractive spiders in Europe, building a large orb web. The female is characterized by a strikingly coloured abdomen, bright yellow on a field of black or variegated red white and yellow stripes. The male is inconspicuously light brown colored.

Until a few decades ago the Wasp Spider was almost only found in southern Europe. Meanwhile it has enormously enlarged its area of propagation and lives in almost all countries of Europe. On sunny, dry meadows it can catch sufficient food: grasshoppers of all sizes, bees, wasps, butterflies, flies and other insects.

A conspicuous white zigzag ribbon in the centre of its web, still puzzles scientists. The so called stabilimentum has usually been viewed as reinforcing structure (name!). But one has found several variants that make this explanation questionable.