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Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jeff Peake, Sep 18, 2005.
This guy was found in my garden, anyone know what kind of spider it is?
Is that actual size?
looks kinda like a banana spider to me. they make pretty huge intricate webs and will eat the hell out of other bugs. kevin t fyi:
That depends. How big is your monitor? We have those in great number in our back yard. They weave a characteristic zig-zag pattern that vertically bisects their webs, and they're voracious bug eaters. Thanks for the I.D.
You see those guys in the woods all of the time, they can get pretty big....now imagine you are riding a bike in the woods on a bike trail and you fly right smack into one of these damn webs and wind up with that huge bastard right on your face...it happened to me as a kid, AAAAHHHH!!! It didn't bite me but I was emotionally scarred for a LOOONG time afterwards. Brrrr, I get the shivers just thinking about it. The one I'm talking about actually looked like this (about half the size though) this is also a banana spider...
Is that your hand in that picture and is that a real spider? Did you actually put your hand so close to that disgusting creature? If those things were in my non-existent garden, they'd be squashed real quickly.
No, that picture is from off of the internet, that breed of Banana spider is mostly found down around the southern states but apparently they are also found around the river areas of MO, which is where I "ran" into the one I mentioned. They look hideous, but according to the site I got that photo from they are among the least harmful spiders out there, they rarely bite & just want to get away from people, and to get rid of them from your garden it said all you really have to do is knock down their web, they will always relocate away from that area....I guess they really don't like being around humans.
I saw a few of those about ten years ago up here in Ontario. I have not seen them since.
I had a couple around my house last year. The web they make is pretty amazing...
Here's a banana spider Nephila clavipes, also called Golden Silk. And here's Argiope aurantia , a common garden spider.
Whats amazing about the one in my garden is how large the web is. The web itself is about 5 feet in diameter, its at ground level. One of the anchor lines goes to a tiki-torch right next to the web, but the other one goes to corner of my 2nd story roof! That sucker is 20 feet long and pretty thick. I wonder how long it took for him to spin that much web. Here is a shot of the web going up to the roof:
Seriously, its common name is a "garden spider". It's good to see he was in the proper spot. If you approach it, it will begin to shake its web in a defensive attempt to make itself look bigger. Folklore says if it spells your initials in the squiggly line down the center of its web, um... you're going to die. They are pretty large as spiders go... and look pretty menacing.. but they're harmless (save for the initials-in-the-web thing).
Isn't it fascinating that these "garden" bananas always put that zig-zag design down the center of their web (I assume as a joining support for the center of the web)....instinct is spooky sometimes.
BTW, in doing some searching it seems that there is a wide discrepancy between the names of spiders and their actual appearance. Some places describe what you have, Jeff, as actually not a literal banana spider, it is a golden orb weaver, this is an answer to a that very question from some site called "whatsthatbug.com", but other sites show "Golden Orb Weavers" with a rather different appearance from what you have....either way here is what that Bug Dude had to say: There is a difference between the Golden Orb Weaver and the Banana Spider, though common names are never a sure way of identifying spiders or insects without descriptions or even better, photographs. Nephila clavipes is sometimes known as the Banana Spider and is common in the South. The genus Nephila is the only one in the Family Nephilinae, the Silk Spiders, so named because of the large quantity and great strength of their silk. Adult female Banana Spiders are large, with bodies over an inch long and a leg span often greater than four inches. The male is about 1/100 the size of the female. He builds no web but rather lives within the web of the female. The abdomen of the female is long with nearly parallel sides. It is olive brown marked with yellow and white spots and stripes. The webs are two to three feet in diameter and the supporting lines of these webs are frequently exceedingly strong and are apt to attract the attention of people who run into them. Though the silk surpasses in strength and beauty that of the silkworm, it is not feasible to farm it. The Golden Orb Weaver, Argiope aurantia, formerly known as Miranda aurantia, often attracts attention because of its large size, bright colouring, and the beauty of its web. The adult female frequently measures an inch or more in length and is marked with spots and bands of bright orange. The abdomen is oval with a pair of humps at the base. The male is 1/4 her size. Webs are about two feet across and beautiful, possessing a stabilimentum zigzagging through the orb. So it seems that I ran face first into a banana spider & you have an orb weaver. Now I HAVE to stop this! ....I feel like something is crawling up my leg every few minutes.....gaaaah!
I live in Central NJ. I am getting these big spiders in my backyard. Big..as in maybe 3/4 to an inch in diameter. They make these huge webs around my deck and shed. I think they are wolf spiders. Anyone from the area know what I am talking about? Thanks!
todd s, just google the word "identifying spiders" and look through the pictures at the various sites listed, you should be able to identify the spider quickly.