Joro Spider

Known as joro-gumo in Japan, the joro spider (Nephila clavata) can be seen in gardens, parks and wooded areas during mid-autumn. With a large body (up to 2 inches in length, excluding the legs), yellow and bluish-grey abdomen, bright red near the tip of the abdomen on the reverse side and yellow and black striped legs, the female joro spider is easy to identify. Often one or two males, at one third to one fourth the size of the female, can be found lurking around the edges of the web waiting for a chance to mate.

The joro spider is an orb (or golden orb) spider. The large web, often a yard in diameter, is built in three layers (a central orb plus one in front and one in back) with web threads radiating irregularly out from the front and back of the web. This three layer construction is not typical of orb spiders.

The female joro spider lays her eggs on tree trunks, buildings, other structures or even on the underside of a leaf. The eggs are attached and held in place by special silk threads. After lying dormant over the winter, the eggs hatch late the following spring. Adults die off in the winter.

Once prey is caught, the joro spider immediately bites her victim with a potent venom. If bit by a joro spider, a human will usually experience pain, redness and blistering that disappears within twenty four hours. The venom is potent, but not strong enough to harm a human except in rare occasions when there is an allergic reaction.

These joro spiders were photographed at Manno Lake on the Island of Shikoku. The joro-gumo web was in a cemetery in Sakaide.

Also called banana spiders, I was fascinated by these truly beautiful arachnids.

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28 Responses to Joro Spider

  1. Adrianne says:

    I’m on the Hall County/Jackson County line and my yard is absolutely COVERED in these monsters. It’s happened seemingly out of nowhere, last year I didn’t see a single specimen. Now, I can’t walk through my yard let alone down the trails snaking through the property my house sits on. It’s unfortunate, because we’ve been unable to fish, walk, or do anything in the woods since late summer.

    My boyfriend and I are extreme arachniphobics, yet we did have a nice spider (the same type that’s in Charlotte’s Web, so naturally we called her Charlotte) who lived on a column on our porch. She was very polite, never put her web where it would interfere with us and the web itself was always very tidy. She’d come out in the evening, and by morning was back in her hole. She’s the first spider I grew found of and felt comfortable being near(is). Unfortunately, ever since the joro spider explosion in the last month or two, I haven’t seen Charlotte. I suspect she was eaten by one, as one did build a web on the opposite side of the porch very recently.

    Unlike Charlotte, these spiders aren’t polite. Their webs are sloppy, big, and low. AKA in the way, as I mentioned before you can’t walk through the woods without ending up in one. I took some spider spray to the monster who took up residence on my porch, feeling not a twinge of guilt as she dropped her dinner (a tiny little honeybee, ffs) and began to die. Just a few minutes ago, I found another lowering itself on the side of my house. This one met the same fate.

    I’ve emailed UGA to see if there are any plans to combat this invasion. Until then, I’ll be patrolling with my can of spider spray and will give mercy to not a single joro spider.

  2. Jane says:

    Barrow County, Georgia as them.
    Maybe this spider’s diet will include Kudzu.
    Lots and lots of kudzu.
    .
    I hate spiders of any kind.

  3. Roxane says:

    I also abide in Hall County Georgia. These spiders are everywhere in this area. I have 3 massive webs that I can observe from my living room window. My concern is that all the native spiders who make webs this time of year have vanished. Don’t we ever learn our lesson? For instance Kudzu, another East Asian invader, the weed that swallowed up The South ! Mediterranean Fruit Flies, another example. Also, Asian Lady Beetles. Something needs to be done about these Joro Spiders before it brings harm to this ecological area. My other concen is that I do have someone living in my household who has extreme allergies to insect bites, if bitten are our hospitals equipped to handle ?! Is there a Special type of anti venom for a bite from a Joro Spider ? I would love to know but right now all that I believe is being done is a georefernce on this invader….Put it this way I am very unhappy about this situation here !

  4. Lara says:

    I’m in Hall County Georgia US and have several of these around my house. The webs are huge and I feel they are taking over my porch. The female spiders have grown a considerable amount while out there. If the sightings in Georgia are becoming common, would researchers still want these? They are a pretty spider for being a spider. I personally don’t like spiders.

    • gingkochris says:

      Apparently the joro spider has become common in Georgia. Living on the West Coast I do not know what the status is for reporting joro spider sightings in Georgia.

    • Laurin says:

      We have 12 webs in our yard, also in Hall County. One female is exceeding the 2 inch standard by an inch. She’s the only one who has built her web up high. I am a naturalist and learned about them from a colleague who conducted a study on them. I’m about to ask her about a dashed web that one of the other Joros spun. I’ll ask her if her cohorts are continuing to collect data. She also resides in Hall County. Will let you know.

  5. Steve Brewer says:

    Have a female in my gazebo here in Gulf Breeze, FL. From the internet, I can’t find any reference to Joros in this state. Anyone I should contact?

    • gingkochris says:

      Living in California I do not know the resources in Florida. I would contact the entomology department of a nearby university. They may be interested or can direct you toward an organization or individual who might be.

  6. Steven Hill says:

    I also live in Jackson County, GA and found one of these in my yard last fall (2017)…I got in touch with the guys from UGA and they came and retrieved it for study, along with her egg sac.

    We must have missed one because it is now Summer Solstice 2018 and i have found over 20 small ones in the yard already this year. Wondering how many make it to adulthood. They are fascinating and I don’t mind them, but I don’t really need 20 of ’em either…..

  7. Brian Parsons says:

    I didn’t know they were also known as banana spiders, the spider I associate with that name is the very deadly Brazilian Wandering Spider. I would definitely not want to get the two mixed up lol !

  8. Kim King says:

    I live in Jackson County Georgia and have one of these spiders in my yard. They are so very beautiful and I have to admit I’ve become a bit obsessed with them. Since discovering mine I told my family and my husband actually has 3 right outside his office window & my brother found 4 in his yard.

    • gingkochris says:

      I was also captivated the first time I saw Joro Spiders in Japan. They would not survive where I live, too cold.

    • Marie says:

      I live in Barrow County Ga and recently have been submitting photos of our sightings, as we have had a large number of them on our property. Here is the story that was posted about the research the natural history museum is conducting . The Email address to contact with your sighting is at the end

      • gingkochris says:

        No joro spiders here on the high desert of Northeastern California. I saw the joro spiders in Saskaide, Kagawa, Japan. It is interesting that they are established now in Georgia.

  9. JaniceCagle says:

    My daughter almost walked into the web of one in Georgia! I submitted photos to the Georgia Museum of Natural History which confirmed the sighting. Crazy that they are here in the states!

  10. usermattw says:

    The body alone is up to two inches? Beautiful, yes, but yikes! 🙂

  11. Pingback: Addendum: Joro Spider | The Nature Niche

  12. Lin Erickson says:

    I agree…they are BEAUTIFUL !!!

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