I captured a spider that was on my windowsill! My knowledge of arachnids and arthropods is limmitted, so I would greatly appreciate help identifying it. The specimen is less then a centimeter in length and when frightened curls up into a ball. Any help figuring out what species it is would be great.
Meet the orb-web spider, Argiope bruennichi. Commonly referred to as the wasp spider.
This specimen was located in a public park in the south of Spain.
Often these types of markings evolve as a deterrent to would be predators, warning of the danger they can be, or pretend to be. The bite of this spider is mostly harmless to people and it relies on weaving a web to catch flying insects that stumble into her trap immobilising them rapidly. After, it will inject a paralyzing venom that slowly dissolves it's prey, turning it into an ideal soup for the spider's dinner. Tasty.