A-z - Animals

banana spider



“The Weaver of the Golden Web”

There are several genera of spiders known as banana spiders, but few are as spectacular as Nephila . Not as dangerous as the banana spider in “Banana Boat Song,” these peaceful and relatively harmless arachnids spit out webs that look like they’re made of glittering gold thread.

Additionally, spiders are known for their extreme sexual dimorphism. This means that the sexes don’t look alike, or even look like they’re from the same species. This is mainly because females are four times larger than males.

While he had to approach her very carefully to mate, stories of her eating him have been greatly exaggerated.

4 Unbelievable Banana Spider Facts!

Banana spider close-up
Banana spider close-up©Bildagentur Zonar GmbH/Shutterstock.com



Read on for some interesting facts about these spiders.

  • The female of N. komaci is the largest web-making spider in the world. A female can have a leg span of 4.7 inches, a body length of 1.57 inches, and her web can be over 3 feet long.
  • The drawn silk of banana spiders can be stronger than the Kevlar fiber used to make body armor.
  • Although Nephila spiders eat insects, they don’t eat all kinds of insects. Some species will remove wasps and winged ants trapped in their webs because they are offensive. Others seem terrified of cockroaches, which are perfectly fine to catch and eat.
  • Some of these spiders seem to be able to control how ultraviolet light reflects off their body stripes. This helps them attract prey, as the insects see the spider as a flower full of pollen and nectar. The golden color of the web also attracts hapless pollinators.

evolution and origin

Although there is not enough data and research to consider the evolutionary steps of banana spiders.

They feed on small to medium pests like mosquitoes, which can be a nuisance. Researchers have attempted to use the super-strong silk produced by Golden Globe Weavers in a number of ways, including as fabrics.

Many spider species are known as banana spiders, the most common being Trichonephila clavipes (formerly Nephila clavipes), also known as the golden orb weaver. The term “banana spider” may refer to the creature’s characteristic yellow color and long abdomen.

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While their bite can be painful, banana spiders are not fatal and are not usually considered a serious threat to humans. One species of banana spider, the Brazilian wandering spider, has the potential to occasionally produce severe symptoms.

Species, types and scientific names

Banana spider close-up
Banana spider close-up© Yaping/Shutterstock.com

The name Nephila means “like to spin” in Greek, and these spiders clearly have that. There are at least 12 species, some of which have many subspecies.

  • N. comorana
  • Nepenthes stenophylla
  • N. cornuta
  • Nepenthes orientalis
  • N. komaci
  • Nepenthes kuoshii
  • Nepenthes laurel
  • Nepenthes pakistan
  • Nepenthes philippines
  • Nepenthes robusta
  • Nepenthes tetraclaw
  • N. vitiana
  • Mica
  • cyanobacteria
  • Little muscovite
  • spotted mica
  • Mica
  • Nifera, Senegal
  • Mica
  • prawns
  • Trichinella
  • golden silk loom
  • Mica
  • Trichinella
  • Trichinella
  • Little muscovite

appearance

The females of banana spiders are larger than the spiders and much larger than the males, which has fascinated scientists.

A very large female can have a leg span of over 5 inches, and they grow larger in human habitats due to the availability of prey.

Both males and females have eight legs and elongated bodies, although pregnant females have round, chewing-gum abdomens. Females can have orange, green, or red bodies with lighter spots and colored stripes on their legs.

The legs sometimes have tufts of hair at the “joints”. Males are brown and inconspicuous next to huge females.

banana spider in the web
A giant female banana spider catches prey on her web.©iStock.com/NikonShutterman

Habitat

Golden orb weaver spiders prefer warm, moist habitats with some foliage cover. Since banana spider webs are so large, they need a sturdy structure to support them.

So you’ll find banana spider webs and the spiders that weave it between buildings, between trees, or between trees and buildings. They often appear on the edges of woodland paths or clearings and near or in areas with water bodies, such as garden hose spigots.

While the Nephila genus can be found all over the world, banana spiders were introduced into the southern United States. The first report of the southern banana spider was in 1862, and since then their range has expanded from Florida to Georgia and up to states such as North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas.

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There is usually a pile of silk threads in front of the web, which contains some debris, such as the remains of the spider’s previous prey. Some scientists believe this is to protect the main net from predators, blown leaves and other hazards. Others think it’s just what’s left of the spider’s old web.

diet

Banana spiders usually eat insects. These include flies, moths, butterflies, dragonflies, grasshoppers, mosquitoes, bugs and beetles. The spider wraps it in silk and sometimes hides it in part of its own web to eat in bad times.

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Banana Spider FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Are Banana Spiders Dangerous?

Banana spiders are not dangerous to humans. Their stings are as painful as wasp stings. One truly dangerous spider, also known as the banana spider, is the Brazilian wandering spider of the genus Phoneutria .

How many legs does a banana spider have?

Like all spiders, banana spiders have eight legs.

How do you identify a banana spider?

This spider is best identified by the female’s large size and colored markings and the bright gold color of her web in sunlight. She’ll have a slender belly with colorful bands and tufts of hair on her legs. She may share her web with some other smaller spiders. These are mostly males of her own species, waiting to mate and share her food, since males cannot weave their own webs when they reach maturity.

What is a Banana Spider?

In this case, the banana spider is a member of the genus Nephila .

How Big Can Banana Spiders Get?

Female banana spiders can grow up to 2 inches in length with a leg span of nearly 5 inches.

What does a banana spider bite look like?

The bite area may become temporarily red and swollen, but this subsides. An ice pack should be enough for its discomfort.

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Are banana spiders poisonous?

Golden orb weaver spiders are not venomous, but they are venomous, as are all spiders. Venomous means they release toxins to subdue prey or protect themselves by biting. Poisonous plants or animals are dangerous to eat, whereas Vietnamese Laglais cook and eat banana spiders without any ill effects.

What Do Banana Spiders Eat?

Banana spiders primarily eat insects entangled in their webs, but some spiders are large enough to eat larger animals such as small snakes, lizards, and mice.

Why do they call them banana spiders?

They are called banana spiders because they are sometimes found in banana shipments.

What is the Difference Between Banana Spiders and Garden Spiders?

The most notable differences between banana spiders and garden spiders include their size and color.

Banana spiders are larger than garden spiders, with bodies up to 2 inches long, with a total leg span of 5 inches, and come in red, chartreuse, black, red and white. The garden spider is about 1 inch long with a 3 inch leg spread and has a black body with yellow markings and some brown on the legs near the body and joints.

What is the difference between a banana spider and a joro spider?

The biggest differences between Joro spiders and banana spiders include their genus and species, and their locations around the world. The Joro spider, whose scientific name is Trichonephila clavata, lives in Japan, Taiwan, Korea, China and parts of the United States. Banana spiders belong to the genus Nephila and live in Asia, Africa, Oceania and North America.

What is the difference between an orb spider and a banana spider?

The most notable differences between orb spiders and banana spiders include their size, color, and habitat.

Thanks for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

source
  1. University of Vermont, available here: https://www.uvm.edu/~lehiggin/SSD_Nephila.html
  2. IUCN Red List, available here: https://www.iucnredlist.org/search?query=Nephila&searchType=species
  3. Texas A&M University, available here: https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-49_banana_spider.htm
  4. Healthline, available here: https://www.healthline.com/health/banana-spiders-bites#spider-facts
  5. Comprehensive Taxonomy Information System, available here: https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=848915#null
  6. Australian Journal of Zoology, available here: https://www.publish.csiro.au/ZO/ZO9780501
  7. Nature, available here: https://www.nature.com/articles/ng.3852
  8. Encyclopedia Britannica, available here: https://www.britannica.com/story/whats-the-difference-between-venomous-and-poisonous