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LPCrowRiverFisherman

Big Spider, Grasshoppers, and a Dark Butterfly

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The spider looks like a banded argiope (Argiope trifasciata). The butterfly looks like a very faded black swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes).

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I always called them an orb web spider? Any body have a pic of one? Is that their common name? I just googled orb ebs and found 5 pictures of distinclty different spiders not just color but body shape as well. I googled the banded as well and found one pic that was a close match, but many more showing the bands going across the back. This identification stuff is tough.

Anyway, I love that exact kind of spider. They love to make webs on the yellow cone flower and from my deer stand I can see hundreds of webs on my prairie shimmering at first light. The spiders are awesome too

Speaking of spiders, my parents have a giant minnow catching spider that lives under their dock on Burntside. It walks across the water and stabs it's fangs into the water like a spear fisherman- catching minnows-mostly small smallmouth bass. Hans

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After further investigation I'm betting it is an argiope, but a black and yellow not banded. Orb webs have shorter legs but very similar markings.Hans

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Hans, the colors, patterns and overall physical dimensions and shape, as well as the paired legs, match the argiope in "Spiders of the North Woods" by Larry Weber.

The pattern on the back of the spider is a bit different than that in the guide, which is not uncommon.

The only orb or orbweaver that shows yellow in that guide is the orchard orbweaver, and that spider's conformation is quite different than the agriope.

All that being said, there's often quite a bit of color/pattern variation among spiders (more than among birds, for example), not only between sexes but between individuals of the same sex, and that tends to make me less certain when using color/pattern alone to ID spiders using photos in guides.

That Burntside spider is certainly one of the species of fishing spider. We had a dark fishing spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus) in our bed one night a couple summers ago that was huge, and scared the bejeezus out of us. The full-grown females can have legspans up to 4 inches, and this girl was a whopper! The dark fishing spider is easily the largest spider anywhere up here that I know of. Luckily they aren't aggressive unless you are a minnow. shockedshocked

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Hans, after looking some more, it could also be a yellow garden argiope (Argiope aurantia). I'm still going with the banded because the underneath view in the image is a dead ringer for color, pattern and conformation of the one in the guide. My guide does not show a species called a black and yellow argiope, but the guide is specifically Northwoods around the Great Lakes region, and if the black and yellow only occurs a bit farther south in MN, it may not be in this guide.

Or the black and yellow and the yellow garden argiope may be different common names for the same spider. Do you have the Latin name of the black and yellow?

Spider ID can be very tough, and it often seems to be a bit of a guessing game. I'll be happy to stand corrected.

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I love to learn something new too. The point of my first post was not to question your Id, but to say that I've been corrected.I was told once by a naturalist that what they were and have called them that ever since.

It amazes me how often info from teachers, professors, and other experts turns out to be wrong. I don't blame them,because they are just doing what I did all those years calling an argiope an orb web-Rather, I get excited about learning the real answer.

I learned of a giant beaver like animal that lives in the Pacific northwest recently- and did a quick search of mammal books from my childhood and found not a sigle mention of it. I'm an animal nut and was sure I knew all the large mammals in North America-but guess not.

Dougong sp?, an animal similar to a dolfin but with a horizontal tail like a manatee also escaped my learning and it can be a thousand pounds.

Maybe big foot Is out there. Hans

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That's cool Hans. I didn't really take it as questioning, either, as much as an opportunity to expand on the ID process, which is full of pitfalls. There's always plenty to learn. smilesmile

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That is it. To much information on spiders I did not know existed! I doubt the arctic has spiders...

Yeah, but those polar bears can be real killers! gringrin

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i know a lot of kids have that "killing a songbird with a bb gun" story, where they learn how fragile life is and whatnot..... mine was with a dock spider similar to the one you mentioned...... i could see it from our main dock, legs fully splayed out on our canoe dock about 25 ft. away and it was one of those "i could never hit that thing" type of deals (even though it was HUGE)..... well i shot and saw it's back half erupt and white goo tumble out......

i know it's strange to be affected by something as simple as killing a spider, when everyone has squashed their fair share, but there's something poignant when silly 10 yr old fun turns fatal when you didn't intend it to.......

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