Banana Spider - Golden Silk Spider Photo Gallery
|Golden Silk Spiders
Nephila clavipes --the harmless Banana Spiders.
Their bite is milder than a bee sting. Do not confuse
them with the aggressive
spiders from South America who are VERY DANGEROUS!
Scroll down to see the amazing pictures below...
Check out our latest article:
Golden Silk Spiders and Hurricane Warnings this is an html web
presentation but you can also download a printable PDF version by
Golden Silk Spiders and Hurricane Warnings 043007.pdf
Spiders are beneficial harmless spiders
If you want to discourage them from living in an
area, just pull down their webs, (a broom is a good tool for this job) they will
usually go away.
Golden silk spiders are very non-aggressive, and in
all my years here, I have only heard of 2 people being bitten. They got a
welt that went away in a couple of days. They normally do not bite
unless you smack them first. If one lands on you, all they want is
Click the picture for a larger image
Golden Silk (Banana) spiders are
the largest non tarantula spiders in North America. Here in
have many with bodies the size of my little finger, and leg spans of
over 5 inches. They are gentle and
tremendously beneficial because of all the insect pests that they eat.
They often share
their webs with male yellow silk spiders.
Here is a lady golden silk spider with her lunch. After a light snack, this
girl wrapped up this meal for later. No doggy bags here! They eat
almost all kinds of insects, even dragon flies, grass hoppers and locusts.
Their natural enemies are wasps. I encourage them to build webs
above my grain bins and in the rafters of my barn - they are wonderful
natural fly traps.
|Golden Silk Spiders
are consummate web builders. Their webs have a
roundish or "orb" shaped center like a fishnet, and since the silk is
bright yellow they are very visible. Here in Florida, a single banana spider can place a
web across a 12 foot wide trail overnight. The bright yellow web,
is usually about 6 - 9 feet above the ground
(just in the face of horse and rider) and normally has an area from 8 to
36 square feet.
The golden silk spider is banana yellow and so are
their webs; hence the name, Banana Spider. Yellow Silk Spiders are
"Orb web" weavers, not wanderers. Don't confuse them
with the aggressive and dangerous brown
Brazilian Wandering Spiders (Phoneutria fera et al) who are also
called banana spiders. These are imported into the US in banana
bunches and have a neurotoxin venomous bite like a black widow.
Lady banana spider with her mate. She is the big
one; he is tiny. The mating rituals of the Golden Silk Spiders are
most interesting. He will court her for days, stroking her body
gently from time to time with his legs. Yellow silk spiders mate
face to face upside down.
Often a lady yellow
silk spider will have several suitors. She may allow them to hang
out in her web for days if she has plenty of food stored to share.
Lady silk spiders also don't necessarily eat their mates. I have
often observed these spiders living together for the entire Fall season as
she grows huge with her eggs.
|Yellow silk spiders found
in Florida to the Carolinas, the West Indies, Central America and into
South America down to Argentina. There are even larger cousins in
the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, and Madagascar, where the natives
consider them a food source!
Click on a small image from the strip to download the
large version below.
I am NOT an “expert” on
Golden Silk Spiders, I live with
them at my farm and enjoy them. The link below is the answer to your
question from an “expert” at a university.