Golden silk orb weavers are a group of spiders that are known for their golden colored web. They’re also known as giant wood spiders or banana spiders. These spiders do have venom but it is not lethal to humans. Most banana spiders’ bites go away after a 24 hour period. It is possible to have an allergic reaction to a banana spider bite, but this is very rare.
There are over 150 different species of banana spiders. Even though each class is unique, they all share some common characteristics so that they are easily identifiable. They all share similar appearances, have similar behaviors, and live in very similar habitat.
1. How They Look
The colors of a banana spider can vary from red to a greenish yellow. They’re also known for having striped legs with dark brown / black and yellow / green markings to warn predators that they are venomous. They have distinctive white spots in random places around their abdomen and the females are known to give off a shiny silver reflection. The size of the spider can vary between females and males. Females tend to be larger than males and can be anywhere from one and a half inches to two inches. Males can be anywhere from a quarter of an inch to an inch. The sizes do not include their legs span which can be up to 5 inches in females and 3 inches for males. Some scientists have even found out that banana spiders that reside in urban environments are larger than their native counterparts.
2. What They Do
It is easy to spot a banana spider out in the woods during the daytime because the sun will reflect off their web and give it a golden sparkle. The golden color of the web actually makes the silk ant resistant and it helps to camouflage the web whether it’s during the daytime or the night. Banana spiders tend to build their webs in open spaced areas like trail paths or in between two trees. They will build their web up near the tree canopies so if you were walking you would be able to see it around your eye level. These creatures like to eat flying insects but are also known to eat birds and snakes. Moreover, during daylight hours, banana spiders are known to lower themselves from the center of their web closer towards the ground.
3. Where They Live
Banana spiders prefer warm tropical regions. You can find them around the world in places like Australia, Asia, Africa, North and South America. They can be spotted out in the forest where it is sunny and warm or you can find them in urban areas in between buildings as long as there is not too much shading. They also tend to live in very open areas. A banana spider will stay in one location for up to a year if they have plenty of food and if the temperature is warm. It is possible for banana spiders to travel to an area that is slightly colder, but their chances of survival are very slim.
Banana Spiders Bite
Banana spiders are not known to act aggressively towards human but they also do very little to help people. If a banana spider does come in contact with you and bites, do not panic because these spiders are not poisonous. The bites will hurt and will swell but the swelling and pain should go away after about a day. If the swelling does not go down after 24 hours, it is recommended that you seek medical attention.
Banana spiders have been around for millions of years and are actually one of the oldest known spider genuses in the world. Again, these spiders are not poisonous but it is always helpful to be able to identify them so you can to stay out of their way. Below are some helpful reminders to identify banana spiders:
- Look for gold color webs
- Look for irregular shaped white spots on the abdomen
- Look in places like ceilings or near canopies
- Look for leg spans around four to five inches
With these helpful tips you should be able to avoid walking into a banana spider web and enjoy your spring and summer without interfering in the spider’s life. You may also want to consider them in parts of your life to help keep away pests from your garden, but that’s a completely different story.