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Nephila Clavipes

Nephila Clavipes, belonging to the golden-orb weaver family is the only species of this group to be found in the Northern and Southern parts of America. In the United States, they are alternately referred to as banana spider.

Nephila Clavipes

Scientific Classification

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: These big spiders are larger than many other tarantula species. The females are approximately between 24 mm and 40 mm long, while the male spiders which have a slender body measure about 6mm.

Color: The females possess a bright color pattern, having a silver carapace, dull or tan body with spots of yellow, as well as orange bands on their legs. Their abdomen has a bright shade that gradually changes as the spider attains maturity.

On the other hand, the males have a dark brown body.

Other Characteristic Features: They have long legs alongside clumps of hair on their body, which are typical to species of their genus.

Nephila Clavipes Size

Eggs

Each female spins at least 2 egg sacs on the tree having a diameter of 2.5cm to 3 cm. Each sac has hundreds of eggs enveloped in a yellow silken basket.

Nephila Clavipes Egg

Spiderlings

The spiderlings stay in the web for sometimes post their birth and then disperse to be on their own. They are of a different color in the beginning and undergo a transformation with maturity.

Nephila Clavipes Spiderling

The Web

A mature female spider’s web has a diameter of 1mm excluding the filaments that hold it firmly between the trees. These filaments may have a length between 2mm and 3mm. The silk of their web possesses a yellow pigment that gives it a golden glow. The males enter into the webs of the female for mating.

Nephila Clavipes Web

Does the Nephila Clavipes Spider Bite and are they Poisonous

They are not aggressive and will bite only when manhandled. Their venom is said to be non-toxic and is less severe than the sting of a bee causing localized pain with a little redness that gets cured in no time.

Nephila Clavipes Male

 Quick Facts

Other names Banana spider
Lifespan Approximately 1 year
Distribution Florida, North Carolina, throughout Central America (Mexico to the north and Panama in south) , South America as far as Argentina,  and even in the eastern part of Canada (particularly in summer)
Habitat In humid areas and open spaces, mostly in forest regions near trails as well as clearing edges.
Common Predators   Lizards, birds and other spiders
Diet Flies, bees, butterflies, wasps, dragonflies, small moths, and beetles
IUCN Red List (Threatened)
Nephila Clavipes Female

Did You Know

  • In Latin, the first half of their last name “clava” means key, club or a knotted staff. The last part of their name, “pes” stand for pertaining to the foot”
  • The males are so small that they would go unrecognized if they did not come into the female’s web.
  • Their silk has medical and surgical importance.

Image Credits: Achetudoeregiao.com.br, Parfaitimage.com, Upload.wikimedia.org, Farm5.staticflickr.com, Bugguide.net,
Floridanature.org, Jaxshells.org

Nephila Clavipes, belonging to the golden-orb weaver family is the only species of this group to be found in the Northern and Southern parts of America. In the United States, they are alternately referred to as banana spider.

Nephila Clavipes

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: These big spiders are larger than many other tarantula species. The females are approximately between 24 mm and 40 mm long, while the male spiders which have a slender body measure about 6mm.

Color: The females possess a bright color pattern, having a silver carapace, dull or tan body with spots of yellow, as well as orange bands on their legs. Their abdomen has a bright shade that gradually changes as the spider attains maturity.

On the other hand, the males have a dark brown body.

Other Characteristic Features: They have long legs alongside clumps of hair on their body, which are typical to species of their genus.

Nephila Clavipes Size

Eggs

Each female spins at least 2 egg sacs on the tree having a diameter of 2.5cm to 3 cm. Each sac has hundreds of eggs enveloped in a yellow silken basket.

Nephila Clavipes Egg

Spiderlings

The spiderlings stay in the web for sometimes post their birth and then disperse to be on their own. They are of a different color in the beginning and undergo a transformation with maturity.

Nephila Clavipes Spiderling

The Web

A mature female spider’s web has a diameter of 1mm excluding the filaments that hold it firmly between the trees. These filaments may have a length between 2mm and 3mm. The silk of their web possesses a yellow pigment that gives it a golden glow. The males enter into the webs of the female for mating.

Nephila Clavipes Web

Does the Nephila Clavipes Spider Bite and are they Poisonous

They are not aggressive and will bite only when manhandled. Their venom is said to be non-toxic and is less severe than the sting of a bee causing localized pain with a little redness that gets cured in no time.

Nephila Clavipes Male

 Quick Facts

Other names Banana spider
Lifespan Approximately 1 year
Distribution Florida, North Carolina, throughout Central America (Mexico to the north and Panama in south) , South America as far as Argentina,  and even in the eastern part of Canada (particularly in summer)
Habitat In humid areas and open spaces, mostly in forest regions near trails as well as clearing edges.
Common Predators   Lizards, birds and other spiders
Diet Flies, bees, butterflies, wasps, dragonflies, small moths, and beetles
IUCN Red List (Threatened)
Nephila Clavipes Female

Did You Know

  • In Latin, the first half of their last name “clava” means key, club or a knotted staff. The last part of their name, “pes” stand for pertaining to the foot”
  • The males are so small that they would go unrecognized if they did not come into the female’s web.
  • Their silk has medical and surgical importance.

Image Credits: Achetudoeregiao.com.br, Parfaitimage.com, Upload.wikimedia.org, Farm5.staticflickr.com, Bugguide.net,
Floridanature.org, Jaxshells.org

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