Male writing spider versus female in appearance?

Asked September 4, 2016, 4:13 PM EDT

1.
Does a male writing spider look very different from a female?
2.
I live in Greensboro, NC, and have two writing spiders that I think are female. They seem to have egg sacs in the center of their webs. Will the females make it through our winter and (two-part question) when will the hatchlings appear?
3.
How can I protect the egg sacs?[

Guilford County North Carolina

1 Response

Yes the males do look different than females. The females are much larger than the males and have a few other distinguishing characteristics. Here is a link if you'd like to learn more: http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/yellow-garden-spider

At the link above you will also see a picture of what their egg sacs look like. Typically the mature spiders die off after the first frost, but the egg sacs remain dormant until the next spring. Here is another link with some more information: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-24_spider_blackandyellow_argiope...

As far as a way to protect the egg sacs, I'm not sure there is much you can do. They will most likely survive the winter here, but I'm not sure if there is a way to protect them from other predators such as birds.