Some spiders are black and yellow. They have marks, stripes, or dots that are either yellow or black.
These colors can be mixed with a third and a fourth color in many spider species around the world.
Black and yellow coloring are very common in mimicking spiders. These types of spiders sometimes mimic wasps to appear dangerous and to keep predators away.
Spiders that are black and yellow can be found in North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, Central, and Southern Africa as well as in Northeastern Australia.
These spiders cover multiple species as they aren’t a single type of spider.
Are Black and Yellow Spiders Poisonous?
Black and yellow spiders can be venomous. Most species aren’t.
Mildly venomous black and yellow spiders are also common.
These types of black and yellow spiders don’t pose a large threat to humans. Their bites can sometimes lead to red skin, a stinging sensation, or swollen bitten area. These symptoms tend to go away quickly.
Non-venomous black and yellow spiders are dominant.
These species might only be dangerous to insects but they come with no risks when it comes to humans.
Even large 50mm black and yellow spiders such as female Giant Golden Orbweavers aren’t dangerous to humans.
Many black and yellow spiders are orbweavers or garden spiders. These types of spiders have low toxicity.
Types of Black and Yellow Spiders
Black and yellow colors are common in multiple spider species around the world as follows.
1. Yellow Garden Spider
Scientific name: Argiope aurantia
Common name: yellow garden spider, black and yellow garden spider, golden garden spider, writing spider, zigzag spider, zipper spider, black and yellow argiope, corn spider, Steeler spider, McKinley spider
The Yellow Garden spider is one of the most common black and yellow species.
Black and yellow are mostly visible on the abdomen of this species. There are symmetrical yellow lines and spots on the left half and the right half of this species.
Its lower abdomen is mostly black.
The legs are red and black but never yellow and black.
As its name implies, this species of spider is most common in the US. It lives in gardens where it builds spider webs to catch insects.
Yellow Garden spiders are common all across the country. Most people identify them by their black and yellow color as well as by their zig-zag pattern spider web.
Yellow Garden spiders create a unique zig-zag pattern across the central portion of the spider web.
Female spiders of the species lay eggs in an egg sack. They also live slightly longer than males, but not more than a year.
At the end of the fall and the first day of freezing temperatures is when the female Yellow Garden spider dies.
2. Banded Garden Spider
Scientific name: Argiope trifasciata
Common name: Banded garden spider, banded orb weaving spider
Another common black and yellow spider found in gardens is the Banded Garden spider.
Banded Garden Spiders are smaller than the more common Yellow Garden spider.
They are characterized by a black and yellow abdomen and black and yellow legs.
The patterns on the abdomen resemble vertical stripes.
Male Banded Garden spiders are almost half the size of the females. They are smaller and also have a lighter yellow abdomen color.
Female Banded Garden spiders are known to bite when roughly handled.
This bite is not dangerous as it’s not venomous to humans.
Female Banded Garden spiders are also responsible for creating the spider web. This web can have a zig-zag pattern called stabilimentum as the spider web of the Yellow Garden spider.
Females always build these spider webs according to the position of the Sun.
They like constant Sun exposure and heat.
3. Western Spotted Orbweaver
Scientific name: Neoscona oaxacensis
Common name: Western spotted orbweaver, zig-zag spider
The Western Spotted orbweaver is the most common black and yellow orb weaver in North America.
Spiders of this genus are identified by their dome-shaped abdomen that’s large than the cephalothorax.
Its legs are black and yellow while the abdomen is brown and yellow with central red stripes.
In some cases, the Western Spotter Orbweaver has red and black legs instead of yellow and black legs.
These spiders are further identified by the shape and style of the spider web.
There’s a zig-zag pattern in the central portion of the spider web which can be seen as a warning to birds not to fly into it and destroy it.
Western Spotter Orbweavers have a varied diet of insects and flies.
They eat almost any type of small insect that they trap with the spider web.
Female Western Spotter Orbweavers are always connected to the central portion of the spider web.
The highest populations of Western Spotter Orbweavers are found in California, Texas, and Arizona.
4. Jorō Spider
Scientific name: Trichonephila clavata
Common name: Jorō spider
This type of spider is highly common in Japan, China, and Korea.
It has a very distinct coloring to the black and yellow spiders found in North America.
This family of spiders has black and yellow striped legs.
It also has a white or silver and yellow abdomen. Parallel silver stripes are seen between the yellow stripes on the abdomen of the species.
Red spots are also common on the lateral sides of the abdomen in females.
This species of spider also creates distinct spider webs. The silk of these spider webs appears golden in color instead of white when seen in direct sunlight.
Known as a large species, these spiders can grow to a maximum adult size that varies between 17 and 25mm.
Females spin a spider sack with up to 1.500 eggs soon after mating. Researchers show this spider sack is tougher than in other spider species.
5. Phylloneta pictipes
Scientific name: Phylloneta pictipes
Common name: Phylloneta pictipes
This spider species is part of the cobweb genus. The spider builds sticky spider webs.
Pylloneta pictipes have green black or yellow black coloring.
Its abdomen has the shape and coloring of marble as its yellow and black patterns are irregular.
The cephalothorax is also yellow as are the legs while the abdomen is yellow and black.
A small black mark can be identified on the central section of the head.
6. Wasp Spider
Scientific name: Argiope bruennichi
Common name: Wasp spider
The Wasp spider is a common mimicking species in Europe.
It resembles the Common wasp as the female is identified by the yellow, white, and black stripes on the body.
This physical resemblance makes the wasp spider appear dangerous to certain birds, the most common predator of Wasp spiders.
Wasp spiders have striped black and yellow legs.
The ventral side of the Wasp spider is also characterized by black and yellow vertical stripes.
Spiders of this genus are known for building a stabilimentum or a zig-zag pattern as decoration on the central side of their spider webs.
The stabilimentum is either seen as a decoration of the spider web or a type of enforcement that acts as a warning sign to birds not to fly into the spider web.
Incoming birds can destroy the spider web if they fly right into it.
Female Wasp spiders are a few times larger than males and can eat males soon after mating.
This is one of the reasons male Wasp spiders are often seen waiting for immature females to molt for mating without the risk of being eaten.
7. Spinybacked Orbweaver
Scientific name: Gasteracantha cancriformis
Common name: Spinybacked orbweaver
The Spinybacked Orbweaver is a species known for its white abdomen with black spots and black abdominal projections.
But this species also comes in a yellow abdomen color version coupled with small black spots and sharp black abdominal projections.
The rest of the body is black.
Spiders of this genus almost look like crabs in their movements given the size of the abdomen is considerably larger than the head.
Spinybacked Orweavers build superficial spider webs with just a few lines of silk in the middle.
Female Spinybacked Orbweavers don’t travel far from this spider web.
They even lay an egg sac near it which is known for hatching in the spring.
They overwinter in a durable egg sack in high numbers as eggs.
8. Napoleon Spider
Scientific name: Synema globosum
Common name: Napoleon spider
Napoleon spiders are very common in Europe. They get their name from resembling a Napoleon silhouette.
These spiders have black and yellow coloring except for the males which have black and white coloring.
The abdomen is yellow with central black markings.
Its legs and cephalothorax are also black.
There’s a considerable difference in the size of the male and the female.
The male spider is almost half the size of the female. It grows to 4mm while the female grows up to 8mm.
Napoleon spiders are some of the most common black and yellow spiders that hunt instead of building spider webs.
Active both during the day and during the night, Napoleon spiders eat multiple types of insects that feed on flowers.
9. Arrow-shaped Orbweaver
Scientific name: Micrathena sagittata
Common name: Arrow-shaped orbweaver, arrow-shaped micrathena
Arrow-shaped Orbweavers are known for their atypical shape.
The abdomen is pointed similarly to the tip of an arrow. It has a yellow background coloring with red spots and red borders but it’s completely black and yellow seen from the ventral side.
This spider has a red cephalothorax and red legs.
Arrow-shaped Orbweavers build small spider webs to catch various types of small insects.
They tend to eat all types of small insects they can trap.
Venom is injected into these insects to liquefy them or to make them softer to consume.
The venom takes up to a few hours to liquefy insects caught in the spider web of the Arrow-shaped Orbweaver.
These spiders lay eggs in the fall which hatch in early spring. Up to a few hundred spiderlings can emerge in the spring.
10. Hairy Golden Orbweaving Spider
Scientific name: Trichonephila fenestrata
Common name: Hairy golden orbweaving spider
The Hairy Golden Orbweaving spider has black, yellow, white, and gray coloring.
Its legs and cephalothorax have a shiny black color. The abdomen is white, gray, and yellow.
The ventral side of the spider is also black, white, and yellow.
Orange or red coloring can also be seen in the form of spots on some morphs.
Some morphs of this species have dual yellow colors on the abdomen. Pale yellow can sometimes be seen on the upper abdomen while rich yellow coloring can be seen on the lower part of the abdomen.
A common morph of this species also shows hairy legs that are black next to the body and continue to be all-yellow to the extremities.
This makes the species one of the few spiders with yellow legs.
Hairy Golden Orbweaving spiders are mostly seen on their spider webs.
Females are more likely to be seen on these webs. Males are smaller and live nearby.
11. Christmas Jewel Spider
Scientific name: Austracantha minax
Common name: Christmas jewel spider
The Christmas Jewel spider is one of the most common black and yellow spiders in Australia.
It can be found almost across the entire country in various colors but its black and yellow morph is prevalent around Darlington.
These spiders have a round spiny abdomen. They have yellow and black marks with red bordering and black abdominal projections.
The Christmas Jewel spider has multiple morphs as it can also be seen in black and white or black and red color.
Spiders of this genus can also be entirely black.
Some data suggests they take on these colors as adaptations to their environment rather than inheriting their appearance.
The spiders are known for having complex mating rituals. The male lowers itself onto females using nearby vegetation.
Females can accept or deny mating with the male.
But males have also developed certain mating strategies to increase their chances of finding positive responses for females.
Looking for young females just existing their last molt is one of these strategies.
Christmas Jewel spiders aren’t aggressive but they are mildly venomous.
Spiders of this genus can bite if roughly handled. Their bite isn’t without consequences as it can be painful.
Red skin and inflammation are common in the area of the bite.
These spiders are normally picked up on clothes in gardens around Australia or when trekking around the country in the vicinity of vegetation.
12. Common Garden Orbweb Spider
Scientific name: Argiope australis
Common name: Common garden orbweb spider
The Common Garden Orbweb spider is a popular species in Africa. It’s one of the most common tropical spiders on the continent.
Its large size has made it the popular species it is today. Female Common Garden Orbweb spiders grow up to 25mm while males are a few times smaller.
These spiders have black and yellow coloring both on the dorsal and on the ventral sides. The differences are in the way these colors are patterned.
The dorsal side has black and yellow marble-like coloring while the ventral side is characterized by black and yellow horizontal lines.
Black legs are characteristic of the species. These legs are long and thin.
Known as a diurnal species, the spider is always seen on its web.
These spiders build their spider webs on shrubs, just above the ground. The females are responsible for maintaining the spider web and repairing it each day.
13. Amazon Thorn Spider
Scientific name: Micrathena schreibersi
Common name: Amazon thorn spider
This South American spider species is known for its various morphs.
A black and yellow version of the spider is highly common.
The Amazon Thorn spider has a yellow arrow-shaped abdomen with distinct black spots.
Black bordering is also specific to these spiders in all morphs.
The Amazon Thorn spider is also seen in a white, red, and orange abdomen color
Spiders of this genus have red-brown legs when the abdomen is yellow and black or black legs when the body has another color.
The cephalothorax of the spider is mostly black with 2 yellow stripes along the sides.
Many predators see it as a potentially poisonous species due to its shape, vivid coloring, and the small thorns or abdominal projections that can sting.
14. Northern Jewelled Spider
Scientific name: Gasteracantha fornicata
Common name: Northern jewelled spider
Known for its vivid yellow stripes, the dark-colored Northern Jewelled spider is common in Northeastern Australian territories.
This spider species has a widened abdomen believed to be always positioned in a way that maximizes Sun exposure.
This spider species isn’t hiding as it sits in the central area of its orb-shaped circular spider web.
Many other spiders prefer to hide. However, the Northern Jewelled spider prefers to attract insects with its vividly-colored body.
Dipterans are among its favorite insects.
Spiders of this genus have multiple morphs. Females are larger than males in all morphs.
The abdomen is the widest part of this species. It can be as wide as 15mm making this spider difficult not to spot by curious insects.
15. Hasselt’s Spiny Spider
Scientific name: Macracantha hasselti
Common name: Hasselt’s spiny spider
Native to India, this spider species is known for its colorful body.
It’s the females that have a black and yellow body as males are dominated by black and gray or black and white coloring.
The female has a yellow abdomen with black spots and white or black bordering.
This abdomen is triangular with long black projections.
Black is also the main color of the head. Spiders of this genus also have black legs.
Females are also known for having white or yellow hair on their front legs.
Hasselt’s Spiny spider is one of the spiny spiders that build superficial spider webs.
Small webs characterize the species but their colored appearance is believed to draw in small insects.
16. Four-spined Spiny Orbweaver
Scientific name: Gasteracantha quadrispinosa
Common name: Four-spined spiny orbweaver, four-spined jewel spider
The Four-spined Spiny orbweaver is a common species in Northern Australia and further into New Guinea.
This species has an oblong abdomen that can be orange, red, or yellow, with black marks.
A black cephalothorax and shiny black legs are also characteristic of the Four-spined Spiny Orbweaver.
The wide abdomen of this species measures up to 6mm in the case of larger females.
4 spines or abdominal projections are seen on the abdomen. There are 2 spines on each side of the abdomen.
A distinct black mark is also seen on the central part of the abdomen.
Spiders of this genus are known for creating very large spider webs. They hang upside down tied to this large spider web waiting for prey to get entangled.
17. Giant Golden Orbweaver
Scientific name: Nephila pilipes
Common name: Giant golden orbweaver, northern golden orbweaver
The Giant Golden Orbweaver gets its name from its golden-like spider web.
This specie is known for having a black body with yellow stripes and markings on the abdomen and the head.
Black is the dominant color of their legs.
Giant Golden Orbweavers are known for the extreme size difference between males and females.
Most males are only 4-5mm long while females are 30-50mm long.
This makes the species unique.
It’s believed female gigantism characterizes the females of this species. This means females are larger than expected.
They are larger in terms of selecting and favoring a larger body to have better control over males during the mating process.
Males are known to suffer from dwarfism, which is also theorized as a possible adaptation.
Smaller males reach females faster for mating as they are more athletic.
The considerable size differences between males and females make this species one of the most contrasting in Southeast Asia.
18. Wasp-mimic Jumping Spider
Scientific name: Rhene flavicomans
Common name: Wasp-mimic jumping spider
This spider is part of the Rhene genus.
It’s native to India and other nearby countries in Southeast Asia.
Mimicking common wasps, the spider is dominated by black and yellow coloring.
It features black and yellow bands on the abdomen and black and yellow bands on the cephalothorax.
Spiders of this genus also have black and yellow striped legs.
Wasp-mimic Jumping spiders have a wide thick body appearance.
They cannot fly but they can resemble wasps which can deter potential predators.
These spiders can jump a few times the length of their body. They do not spin webs like most black and yellow spiders which are orbweavers.
Preying is based on the capacity to jump long distances as these spiders pounce on insects to ambush them.
19. Orizaba Spotted Orbweaver
Scientific name: Neoscona orizabensis
Common name: Orizaba spotted orbweaver
Common in Southern US and Mexico, the Orizaba Spotted Orbweaver, this spider is known for its colorful abdomen.
It comes in many morphs but most are dominated by brown, yellow, orange, and black colors.
Its legs have black and yellow stripes as does its head.
The size of these spiders varies considerably. Females can grow to 9 to 19mm as adults.
Orizaba Spotter Orbweavers can sometimes be spotted on their orb-shaped webs next to light sources.