AppearanceFemales reach a body length of up to 7 cm and are strikingly black and yellow, while the brown males reach only about 2 cm.
In Hawai'i they are referred to as ''Hawaiian garden spiders''. In Hawai'i, they are known to be quite communal , with multi-generational specimens living within close quarters, using the same anchor lines for separate webs. The picture to the left shows one small commune with at least 15 spiders and 8 eggsacs.
On Guam, where ''Argipoe appensa'' is ubiquitous, it is frequently visited by ''Argyrodes argentatus''. Locals there refer to them as ''banana spiders''. Following the introduction of the brown tree snake and the subsequent extinction or near-extinction of many of the island's small birds, spider populations on Guam exploded in response to decreasing predation and competition. Nature writer David Quammen has called ''Argiope appensa'' "almost certainly one of the larger species" which were encountered in vast numbers during his research trip to Guam for the book ''The Song of the Dodo''.
CulturalThis species was used in episode "Exposé" of the ''Lost'' TV series, which was filmed on location in Hawai'i. It is there named ''Latrodectus regina'' , a fictional species of widow spider, in the family Theridiidae. The "males" that run for the female are also females, as the males are much smaller.
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