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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17 Responses to Joro Spider

  1. 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…..

  2. 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 !

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. usermattw says:

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

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

  7. Lin Erickson says:

    I agree…they are BEAUTIFUL !!!

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