What is this big ass white striped spider?

A friend of mine and her husband dug this up while trying to do some planting (in Kansas). They’ve never seen anything like it. I can’t find anything that really looks like it online, either, plus I’m not even an amateur entomologist. I just tweeted it to @phil_torres, but I know we have some super spidey people here, too.

There are 5 pictures at the link. The last one shows the spider sitting on the blade of a post-hole digging shovel, which should (I hope) give some idea of its size.

Banded Garden Spider

Goddamn, I love the 'Dope. Less than 20 minutes from question to an answer with pictures that show the same abdomen and dorsal markings!

Someone had already suggested Argiope trifasciata, but all the pictures I could find didn’t show that huge, shield-shape abdomen or the markings, so I was dubious.

Thank you, JayJay!

[As an aside, the friend I was talking about? Her husband wanted to plant those seeds before he went into the hospital for an above-the-knee amputation due to a leg wound not healing because of diabetic complications. So the fact that you answered the question is just … cosmic.]

But what’s an orb weaver doing underground??

No idea. An interesting point is that my friend says this spider was at least 4 inches, with an abdomen that was a good 1 inch across. The Banded Garden Spider is (according to various spider sites) about a quarter that size.

I’m thinking a mutant, and Kansas will soon be overrun by big-ass mutant spiders. I’m glad I’m not in Kansas, because I could not welcome them as overlords.

Why oh why did I look at that? And your aside didn’t help. Eeeekkk!

Something I learned a while back (here, probably) was that spiders have very little variation within a species. It was in the context of “if it’s not more or less exactly as described/shown in the guide, it’s not the same kind of spider.”

Obviously there has to be some variation, or we wouldn’t get speciation, but given that it differs so significantly, I’m thinking maybe you don’t have a positive ID yet.

Yeah, I didn’t take the size into account. I can’t find anything similar-looking but bigger, though.

Here is a website you can post the spider on:

After further consultation, it seems she is including the legs in the measurement. I think those sites are measurements without legs, right?

The url I posted includes both leg-span and carapace width. But they’re both tiny…14.5 mm for leg-spread, which is a tiny bit over 1/2 inch.

And she’s confirming the abdomen all by itself was almost an inch, maybe a skosh more than, which makes it bigger than the one on Bugwood. And so far none of the ones I’ve seen on SpiderID have the same shape abdomen.

OK, after some discussion, it turns out I was right the first time. She was giving measurements that included the length of the “fully extended” front legs. The actual SPIDER was about an inch long, which does put it as a typical size for the female banded garden spider.

So **jayjay **gets the palm leaf. Thank you, jayjay. We will all rest easier knowing that we aren’t being invaded by mutant orb weavers.

the garden spiders in my area make exceptionally strong webs that can span many feet. When you walk into them they don’t break. It’s a bit disconcerting when this happens at night. And they’re very tenacious. If you tear the web down they will build another one in the same spot repeatedly until they starve.

Is this the species in Southern California that builds those frustratingly huge webs everywhere around this time of year (and especially in October)? I bloody hate those things, and as described, they’re tenacious and persistent little devils who insist that every single heavily trafficked walkway must be littered with very strong, very large webs that stretch yards and yards… Or maybe it’s a different species?

Hey, now…spiders gotta eat, too!

When it comes to big spider webs, it’s hard to beat the ones in Texas and Austraila.

BTW, in future “What spider is this?” threads, my suggestion is that the OP gets a pic of the creature in the palm of their hand. That way it will be easier for us to judge the size of the critter. :smiley:

There are two sound reasons why this will never, ever happen.

[li]This spider is in Kansas, and I am in Pennsylvania.[/li]I am going NOWHERE NEAR ANYTHING WITH THAT MANY LEGS.[/ol]

“…big ass white striped spider…”

As legal council for the WSS appreciation league, I must object strenuously to your profane description of WSS anatomy. It is degrading and infantile. Our membership believes body parts should not be shamed; there may be a glandular problem that your sample suffers from. Any continuing or future defamation will be smacked down with a rolled up newspaper.

Huh. You’d think spider culture would value big asses, as it shows a propensity for denser spinneret configurations and therefore a greater aptitude for providing for a family.