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 ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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.