The Banded Spider also rests in the shape of a diagonal cross, but seldom weaves a stabilimenta, or if so, only a partial one. A study published in the scientific magazine Behavioral Ecology suggests that the bright-white stabilimenta is made to make the web more visible to flying birds and so reduce web damage from accidental collisions. It is a trade-off however, as the web also becomes more visible to flying insects and so the spider's catch is reduced.
In the Esperance region, the Banded Spider seldom weaves a stabilimenta, possibly because they construct their nests close to the ground where local birds seldom fly. Whereas the St. Andrews Cross Spider when mature (an Eastern States species not found in WA), always construct a stabilimenta, but they generally build their webs at a higher elevation and more likely in the flight-path of birds.
Banded Orb-weaving Spider, Argiope trifasciata
The male banded spider is a fraction the size of the female (usually between a third and a quarter) and sometimes with other males, can be found on the outer edge of the web. It is very hazardous however being a suitor to the large female, as many males end up being her lunch; those that do escape often have to shed a leg or two to distract her in the process.
A fully intact male Banded Spider
A male Banded Spider who has lost the back legs escaping the female
For reasons possibly related to nursery duties, the female will leave her web unattended. On one such occasion a very bold male took her place in the centre of the web, but alas his triumph was short lived, as next day he looked like a silk-wrapped snack.
The female Banded Spider snacking on the unfortunate male
Despite having very effective venom for paralysing invertebrates, banded spiders are harmless to humans preferring to flee and play dead rather than bite. And unless you are looking in the right place, you will probably never see one, but should you be so lucky, it is worth checking this spiders activities daily, for besides being very colorful, they are also interesting to know.