While checking my tomatoes this weekend, I noticed this beauty keeping an eye on them. This Argiope aurantia, commonly known as a yellow garden spider, is one of the showiest of the spiders on the east coast.

Females can grow up to 28 millimeters while males are only 5 to 8 millimeters. These large, bright spiders may cause alarm, though they are not harmful, unless provoked. People are unlikely to be bitten and even then, the bite would cause no more discomfort than a bee sting.

So, if you can stomach it, welcome these unusual creatures into your garden so the can feasts on nasty mosquitos and aphids!