Banded Orbweaver from Canada

Subject: Unusual insect
Location: Toronto, Canada
September 2, 2016 12:27 pm
Hi there. I found this in my yard in Toronto, Canada on September 2nd. We’ve nevet seen anything like it.
Signature: Elena

Banded Orbweaver
Banded Orbweaver

Dear Elena,
This is a Banded Orbweaver,
Argiope trifasciata, a member of a family of spiders that is considered harmless, though a large individual might bite if carelessly handled.  Orbweavers rarely leave the security of their webs.  For the record, spiders are NOT insects.

Thank you for your reply, Daniel.
I am aware that spiders are not insects, but the one that we have here has 6 legs not 8 and the markings are entirely different.

Hello again Elena,
Please inspect your blurry image more closely, and you will see that the front two pairs of legs are being held together in a manner often employed by Orbweavers while hanging in the web, as depicted in this BugGuide image.  What is most unusual regarding your blurry image is that your individual is not hanging up-side-down, which is the typical position used by Orbweavers perched in the middle of their webs while awaiting prey.  Please note that the final link we provided is to a Silver Orbweaver, a southern species not found in Canada.  In Canada, you have both Banded Orbweavers and Golden Orbweavers.

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