Subject: Strange almost luminescent spider
Location: Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico
February 17, 2013 4:33 pm
I found this spider in our hose here on the pacific coast of baja california sur. It was much brighter green in real life and seemed as though the marks on its back were almost luminescent when the lights were dimmed. Any idea what is is and if at all venomous?
Bests, look forward to your response.
Signature: Capt. Rob Lawford
Dear Capt. Rob,
This is one of the Orbweavers in the family Araneidae. Though they possess venom, they are not considered to be dangerous, and large individuals might bite if carelessly handled. There would be temporary discomfort and possible swelling around the site of the bite, but again, Orbweavers are not considered dangerous. Except for the odd blue coloration, which we suspect might be a result of a combination of factors including taking the photograph in the shade (which has a bluer color temperature) or artificial lighting and possibly incorrect settings on the camera and/or failure to white balance the image, this spider resembles a Silver Argiope, Argiope argentata. Here is an image from BugGuide and one from Eric Eaton’s blog Bug Eric. The silvery-white coloration of the body might also have reflected back the intense green coloration of the wall resulting in your perception that the spider was green.