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Golden Silk Orbweaver (Nephila clavipes)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Golden Silk Orbweaver, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 1/25/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Golden Silk Orbweaver  
Picture of Golden-Silk-Orbweaver

The intimidating and multi-colored Golden Silk Orbweaver is not as mean as it looks and is far more docile than its Brazilian counterpart.

The size of this spider can be frightening. While males remain quite small (up to 1/4 inch), females can grow to become 3 inches. They build webs up to 3 feet in diameter and sit, head-down, right in the center of them. This spider does not hide from its prey.

The Golden Silk Orbweaver is a tropical climate spider. It prefers humidity and it found in the Southeastern U.S.. This "Banana Spider" is not the same species as the aggressive Brazilian banana spider. This North American species is not aggressive and considered relatively harmless. It got the nickname 'banana' because of its body shape. The abdomen of this spider is shaped somewhat like a banana and only the 1st, 2nd and 4th pairs of legs have black tufts of hair on them.

They are found in swamps or shady woods, weaving webs that are on a slight incline as opposed to straight up-and-down with the ground like other orb weavers.

Males are often seen on the side of a female's web, or sitting on her. As an orbweaver, this species rebuilds part of its web every day, though Golden Silk Orbweavers may need a few nights to rebuild the entire massive web.

Picture of the Golden Silk Orbweaver
Picture of the Golden Silk Orbweaver

Golden Silk Orbweaver Information

Category: Spider
Common Name: Golden Silk Orbweaver
Scientific Name: Nephila clavipes
Other Name(s): Banana Spider, Calico Spider

Taxonomy Hierarchy

 Arrow graphic Kingdom: Animalia
  Arrow graphic Phylum: Arthropoda
   Arrow graphic Class: Arachnida
    Arrow graphic Order: Araneae
     Arrow graphic Family: Tetragnathidae
      Arrow graphic Genus: Nephila
       Arrow graphic Species: clavipes

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 4 mm to 25 mm (0.156 inches to 0.975 inches)
Identifying Colors: orange; yellow; black; white; brown
Additional Descriptors: biting, large, hairy

North American Territorial Reach (Though Not Limited To): Alabama; Florida; Georgia; Louisiana; Mississippi; North Carolina; South Carolina

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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