The wasp spider - Wanted poster


Surname: Wasp spider
Other names: Zebra spider, tiger spider
Latin name: Argiope bruennichi
class: Insects
size: Males: about 6 mm, females: about 20 mm
mass: ?
Older: 12 - 18 months
Appearance: Abdomen with black, yellow and white stripes
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Insectivore (insectivore)
food: Bees, flies, grasshoppers, wasps
distribution: Asia, Europe, North Africa
original origin: Central Europe
Sleep-wake rhythm: day and night active
habitat: prefers sunny locations with low growing vegetation
natural enemies: various species of birds
sexual maturity: towards the end of the first year of life
mating season: July August
oviposition: 50 - 200 eggs
behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.

Interesting about the wasp spider

  • The wasp spider, or Argiope bruennichi, describes a species within the True Spider Web that, because of its distinctive appearance, is also called the tiger spider or zebra spider.
  • The abdomen of the females shows a striking drawing with black and yellow stripes, reminiscent of the appearance of wasps. The males, however, are inconspicuous brown colored.
  • Originally the wasp spider was distributed only in the Mediterranean, today it is also native to Central Europe and increasingly found in northern Europe.
  • The female wasp spiders reach body lengths of up to two centimeters, depending on the area of ​​distribution, whereas the specimens native to southern Europe are somewhat larger than the spiders distributed in northern regions. The males are significantly smaller than the females with a maximum length of six millimeters.
  • Wasp spiders feed on various insects, especially grasshoppers are considered their preferred food source. In addition, wasp spiders capture flies, bees, wasps, dragonflies and butterflies.
  • Accordingly, the wasp spider is found mainly in areas that have a high population of grasshoppers. It always populates sunny landscapes with half-high vegetation.
  • In order to capture insects, the wasp spider, at a height of no more than seventy centimeters above the ground, builds a vertical, wheel-shaped net that is reinforced with different threads in a zigzag pattern. The center of the network is particularly dense spun and serves the spider as a place to lie well protected and hidden in the wait.
  • Mating takes place in July and August. The females are very cannibalistic and tend to capture their partners during mating.
  • During mating, there is often a blockage of the female's genital opening. It has not yet been scientifically explained what purpose this genital mutilation fulfills.
  • The females spin brown, round coconuts before oviposition, in which the newly hatched young spiders hibernate protected.
  • The young spiders appear from May of next year, the adult animals are observed from July and late into October.