I found one in our backyard as a kid, and was horrified! Big, yellow and black, I caught it in a jar, showed my Mother, others, released it. I was taught to not kill spiders. But, the article I just came across is even more horrifying: "This Spider Just Ate a Bat, and Now I'll Never Go Outside Again" "The jaw-dropping images confirm what many have suspected for some time: nature is terrifying. The spider was later identified as Argiope aurantia, which translates from Latin to "gilded silver-face," and not "the stuff of actual nightmares" as you might have thought. It can be found across the continental United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America, and have been known to spin their distinctive X-shaped webs in the plants in back yards. In other words, they are everywhere."