Hawaiian garden spider

Hawaiian Garden Spiders

Sorry arachnophobes, but there are spiders in Hawaii. These are Hawaiian garden spiders (Argiope appensa), which came from Asia originally. Mostly it’s the female spider, the large, colorful one in the center of this web, that is seen. Indeed, this was the first time I’ve noticed a male, the much smaller, brown spider. Another web nearby also sported a male and female pair.

Their distinctive webs usually feature one or more broad zigzag lines of silk, called stabilimentum. I’ve read that this is to stabilize the web, but might also serve to lure prey or as a marker to birds and the like, so they don’t fly in to it.

For more information about the Hawaiian garden spider, go to insectidentification.org.