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I found this spider on my balcony in Sunnyvale, CA. It sat in a irregular net. The body was approx. 6mm long. Which species does it belong to?

Spider in its web under a table on my balcony The same spider on a newspaper.

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It appears to be some variety of garden spider (Argiope aurantia). You mention that the web is irregular but a careful look at the photo suggests it's possibly an orb-web that is damaged by wind or rain, and maybe the angle and/or cramped construction in a corner obscures a weak plane of symmetry.

The white stripe seems unusual but there are images online of varieties with white central stripes, and images that show considerable variability of markings even among more typical garden spiders. An expert might weigh in and explain why this is not possible--and I would defer. But the overall impression is of a garden spider.

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Thank you for your answer. You are probably right, it seems like several species in Argiope have similar markings on leg and abdomen. I think I crossed it of the list originally because of the irregular net (as you say, it could've been damaged) and the fact that it didn't sit like a cross which is something the garden spider seems to be doing in most images. – Nxcho Mar 13 '14 at 3:29

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