Nephila clavipes, also known as banana spiders, are also called golden silk spiders, writing spiders, calico spiders, and golden orb weavers. No matter what name you give them, the banana spider is probably the most commonly recognized spider. The female and male arachnids look so different that many people assume they're different species.

Banana spiders are typically much larger in size when compared to their male counterparts. Males are usually about .02 inches longer than females. Females can grow up to 1-3 inches long. Colors differ, but both are slender. Females have yellow spots on light orange/tan abdomens, while males are usually completely unnoticed since they are dark brown. There are two tufts of fur on each leg, except for the third, shorter pair, on the legs of the females.


Spider web made of bananas

Often, banana spider webs can reach a diameter of 6 feet. They are extremely strong and have intricate designs. These giant webs are woven by female banana spiders in forest areas, often along walking paths. A silk web's yellow color can even be adjusted according to the area's sunlight conditions, making it difficult to detect. However, it also makes webs inconspicuous for unsuspecting hikers, as they are primarily used to catch prey off-guard.

Does the banana spider bite?

Although they may look threatening, banana spiders are rather timid. Only if threatened will they bite. Generally, a banana spider bite will only cause slight redness and pain at the bite site, much less so than a bee sting. The venom is typically too mild to affect an adult human in any significant way. A medical professional should be consulted in case of a more severe reaction.

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