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Giant Wood Spider (Nephila pilipes)

Nephila Pilipes, a species of the golden orb-weaver is indigenous to a host of Asian countries like China, India, and Japan, alongside the continent of Australia. After the Nephila komaci, this species is said to surpass all orb-weaving spiders in terms of size.

Giant Wood Spider

Scientific Classification

Physical Description and Identification 

Adults

Size: Sexual dimorphism is seen when it comes to size as the females are excessively large (30 mm to 50 mm), the males are considerably small (5mm to 6mm). The reason for the large size of the female Nephila Pilipes is that even after attaining maturity, molting continues.

Color: Male– Light brown or red; Female-Yellow; Both the sexes have black legs with yellow bands, prominent near the area of their joint.

Other Characteristic Features: They have a cylindrical shaped elongated body alongside long legs. The abdomens of the female have the appearance of a globe when the eggs are inside.

Giant Wood Spider Size

Eggs

The eggs are contained in a sac which is kept in a pit covered with soil or leaves, instead of being placed in the web. A particular sac contains about 2000 eggs.

Spiderlings

When they are juveniles, their legs (first, second, fourth pairs) are hairy which disappears on maturation.

The Web

These spiders produce golden silk for weaving their web, which is vertical with an irregular mesh, having a height and width of 6mm and 2mm respectively. They do not dismantle their webs often and it can last for a couple of years.

Giant Wood Spider Web

Does the Giant Wood Spider Bite and Is it Poisonous

Though not poisonous, it could bite if provoked and the pain would be equivalent to that of a wasp’s sting.

Quick Facts

Other Names Nephila Maculata (as called before)
Lifespan Approximately 12 months
Distribution Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan, China, Malaysia,  Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Nepal, India, Australia, Papua New Guinea
Habitat Primary as well as secondary forests, gardens and wasteland
Common Predators Birds, wasps, damselflies
Diet Small flies, beetles, locusts, larger cicadas
Giant Wood Spider Female

Did You Know

  • It has nine subspecies, some of them being N. p. hasselti (found in Java), N. p. lauterbachi (in New Guinea) and N. p. annulipes (in Indonesia).
  • They are roasted and eaten as a food by the Raglai people of Vietnam’s Bình Thuận Province.

Images Credit: Upload.wikimedia.org, Sundargallery.com, Cdn.shopify.com

Nephila Pilipes, a species of the golden orb-weaver is indigenous to a host of Asian countries like China, India, and Japan, alongside the continent of Australia. After the Nephila komaci, this species is said to surpass all orb-weaving spiders in terms of size.

Giant Wood Spider

Physical Description and Identification 

Adults

Size: Sexual dimorphism is seen when it comes to size as the females are excessively large (30 mm to 50 mm), the males are considerably small (5mm to 6mm). The reason for the large size of the female Nephila Pilipes is that even after attaining maturity, molting continues.

Color: Male– Light brown or red; Female-Yellow; Both the sexes have black legs with yellow bands, prominent near the area of their joint.

Other Characteristic Features: They have a cylindrical shaped elongated body alongside long legs. The abdomens of the female have the appearance of a globe when the eggs are inside.

Giant Wood Spider Size

Eggs

The eggs are contained in a sac which is kept in a pit covered with soil or leaves, instead of being placed in the web. A particular sac contains about 2000 eggs.

Spiderlings

When they are juveniles, their legs (first, second, fourth pairs) are hairy which disappears on maturation.

The Web

These spiders produce golden silk for weaving their web, which is vertical with an irregular mesh, having a height and width of 6mm and 2mm respectively. They do not dismantle their webs often and it can last for a couple of years.

Giant Wood Spider Web

Does the Giant Wood Spider Bite and Is it Poisonous

Though not poisonous, it could bite if provoked and the pain would be equivalent to that of a wasp’s sting.

Quick Facts

Other Names Nephila Maculata (as called before)
Lifespan Approximately 12 months
Distribution Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan, China, Malaysia,  Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Nepal, India, Australia, Papua New Guinea
Habitat Primary as well as secondary forests, gardens and wasteland
Common Predators Birds, wasps, damselflies
Diet Small flies, beetles, locusts, larger cicadas
Giant Wood Spider Female

Did You Know

  • It has nine subspecies, some of them being N. p. hasselti (found in Java), N. p. lauterbachi (in New Guinea) and N. p. annulipes (in Indonesia).
  • They are roasted and eaten as a food by the Raglai people of Vietnam’s Bình Thuận Province.

Images Credit: Upload.wikimedia.org, Sundargallery.com, Cdn.shopify.com

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