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What are Florida Banana Spiders

Banana spiders are unique yellow spiders found in different tropical environments. Florida banana spiders are a special type of banana spider.

This spider is known as the Golden Silk Orb Weaver.

What are Florida Banana Spiders?

These species of spiders are large, yellow spiders that are sometimes called the Banana Spider or the Writing Spider. It isn’t usually dangerous to humans, but a bite may cause some local swelling and pain.

They have many different names, such as

  • Nephila clavipes
  • Golden Silk Spiders
  • Writing Spiders
  • Calico Spiders
  • Golden Orb Weavers

There are a lot of spiders in Florida, but this one is one of the largest

  • Their body length of about 1.5 inches (4 cm)
  • Their Leg span of up to 5 inches (13 cm).

How Dangerous Are Banana Spiders?

In most cases, banana spiders are not dangerous to humans.

Humans are rarely bitten by spiders unless threatened. Bites from banana spiders rarely cause serious harm, but they can be painful.

Where am I Likely to find Banana Spiders?

They rarely invade houses but build their webs in hidden locations where prey is available. If they build a web inside, they are usually found in dark, quiet places like

  • Basements
  • Crawl spaces
  • Closets

How Do They Make Their Webs?

The Golden Silk Orb Weaver spins a web of yellow silk that turns into an orb shape. It then covers the web with another layer of sticky silk to ensure no prey can escape.

Where do Florida Banana Spiders live?

They live in wooded areas and gardens and have been introduced into more northerly states.

Facts for Kids
Facts for Kids

Golden orb weavers build their webs along forest pathways and across streams. They can build webs anywhere, but here are some good places to check out.

These spiders are often found near lakes or ponds, which means you can find them close to your home.

Around the world, you’ll find them in

Africa
Asia
Australia
Central America
North America
South America
West Indies

What do Golden Silk Orb Weavers eat?

Banana spiders of Florida eat flies, wasps, dragonflies, and beetles, and thus help keep the population of harmful insects under control.

Here is a list of what they like to eat:

  • Bees
  • Beetles
  • Butterflies
  • Cicadas
  • Crickets
  • Dragonflies
  • Flies
  • Grasshoppers
  • Leaf-Footed Bugs
  • Locusts
  • Mosquitos
  • Stinkbugs
  • Wasps
  • Wood Moths

How Do Florida Banana Spiders Reproduce?

They mate in the fall, just before the female spider dies. The female will lay her eggs, and the spiderlings will disperse to create their own webs.

Females are larger than males. This may be a result of male dwarfism or female gigantism and may also be a result of mating plugs.

Female spiders produce egg sacs in the surrounding environs of the web to protect their eggs. These sacs contain 300 to 3000 eggs, depending on mating success and particular species.

Are Golden Silk Orb Weavers dangerous?

Banana spider bites can be slightly painful, but they do not require emergency medicine unless someone is allergic to the mild venom.

They do not seem to form beneficial relationships with humans. They are often found in urban and suburban environments due to their protection from predation and greater prey availability.