Garden Orbweavers

Argiope modesta

Argiope modesta is a species of orb-weaver spider, belonging to the family Araneidae. Orb-weaver spiders are known for their highly intricate and geometric webs, and Argiope modesta is no exception. These spiders are often found in a variety of habitats, including gardens, fields, and forests, where they can anchor their large webs. Argiope modesta, like its relatives, is recognized for its distinctive web with a zigzag pattern of silk known as stabilimentum. The purpose of this pattern is still debated, with theories including camouflage, web reinforcement, and attracting prey. These spiders are visually striking, often with bold coloration and patterns on their abdomen, which can serve as a deterrent to predators.






















Argiope modesta

Other Information


The venom of Argiope modesta, like that of most orb-weavers, is used to immobilize prey caught in its web. While it is potent to its typical prey (insects), it is generally harmless to humans. Bites are rare and might result in mild localized pain, swelling, and itching.

A Danger to Humans?

Argiope modesta poses little to no danger to humans. They are not aggressive towards humans and would only bite if they feel threatened or are directly handled. Even then, the effects of a bite are usually minimal.

Population Status

Information on the specific population numbers and trends of Argiope modesta is limited. However, like many orb-weavers, their presence is often a good indicator of a healthy insect population in the area.

Garden Orbweavers (Argiope modesta), Photo by David Lowenthal

Life Span:
The life span of Argiope modesta, similar to other orb-weaver spiders, is typically about one year. Most die after reproducing in the fall, with their offspring emerging the following spring.

Weight and Length:
Specific weight data for Argiope modesta is not commonly documented, but these spiders can grow to be quite large compared to other web-weaving species. Length (including legs) can vary, with the body (cephalothorax and abdomen) often reaching several centimeters in length.

Argiope modesta is found in various parts of Asia, including China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia (Bali) and Taiwan. Their distribution reflects their adaptability to various environments where they can efficiently build their webs.

Garden Orbweavers (Argiope modesta), Photo by David Lowenthal

Habits and Lifestyle:
They are primarily diurnal, spending the daytime in the center of their webs waiting for prey. The webs are often rebuilt daily to ensure maximum efficiency in capturing food.

Diet and Nutrition:
Their diet consists mainly of flying insects that blunder into their webs. The size of the prey can be quite large relative to the spider, thanks to their strong silk and effective venom.

Mating Habits:
Mating in Argiope modesta involves careful approach by the male, often when the female is preoccupied with feeding, to reduce the risk of cannibalism. Males may also pluck strands of the web to communicate their presence and intentions. After mating, females lay eggs in a sac, which they guard diligently until their death.