Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

More About My Spider

When I posted a couple recent spider photos from Almaden Quicksilver Park, I asked if anyone could help me identify this creature. I received a couple interesting and helpful replies:

From an anonymous message:

Dan, The spider in your photo is an “Orb Weaver” also known as a Garden Spider. They spin those huge webs and catch flying insects. They are very useful for keeping the balance. They are usually very active during between late fall and early November. Summer is too hot and winter is too cold for these guys so you won’t see much of them in the days to come. I hope this helped identify the monster? By the way you have some very nice nice photos on your site. I am a frequent visitor to Quick Silver Park. I enjoy your photo’s of the area. Keep up the good work Dan.

And from Gena:

I have seen it called “banded Argiope”, “banded orb-weaving spider”, and “banded garden spider”. I searched online and found that adult females can be up to 20-25 cm (7-10″). Sorry I don’t know much more, I’m not too familiar with most spiders.

7 inches!? Yikes! I think I’m glad I didn’t run into one of those. (The spider in the photos might have been 1 1/2 or 2 inches long including legs.)

Thanks to both of you for the information!

By the way, if any readers see me on the trail please say ‘hi.” I frequently travel the following routes at Almaden Quicksilver:

  • Up and down the Deep Gulch trail to access Castillero and the junction with Mine Hill – occasionally with a detour down Wood Road Trail.
  • The New Almaden Trail heading more or less west and north from the Mockingbird Hill parking lot. (That is the area where I saw the spider.) On occasion I follow this route all the way to Prospect #3 to Mine Hill and then return via the ridge and then the steep descent from the south on New Almaden.
  • On occasion I do the Senador Mine / Guadalupe Dam loop.

You can probably recognize me by the load I’m carrying… ;-) I often carry one or another fanny/lumbar pack, a camera over one shoulder, and a tripod bag over the other.
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October 28, 2005 - Posted by | Commentary

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