On Monday a friend and I spent part of the day replacing some trees at the church. We had bought eight trees last September – four red maples, and four red/silver hybrids. I dunno if we have McCarthyites around us or not, but it seems like “better dead than red” was the rule of the day. None of the red maples survived.

Luckily, the trees were guaranteed for a year, but that year was almost over. So we hustled over there, got a refund, and bought some replacement trees. This time they are all red/silver hybrids.

The plan is to have an iron fence about five feet from the tree line, between the trees and the road. Somebody else had already dug about 20 fence post holes. I don’t know who it was, but it was done several weeks ago. The reason I bring it up is because each and every hole now has exactly one Argiope spider living in it.

Argiope trifasciata

Argiope trifasciata


Argiope autantia

Argiope autantia


I didn’t have my camera on Monday when we planted the trees, but I did have it today, so I took several shots. These are the best I was able to do (though I think I could do better).

These spiders are huge. Their bodies are pushing two inches. Add in the legs, and they are easily four inches long. Big as they are, they are also perfectly harmless.

I do not yet have a positive id on them. I’ll post to Bugguide later for that. But in the meantime, you can enjoy these.