We have several large spiders, but the Joro spider has stripes of yellow and dark blue, with red toward the rear of the abdomen. In sunlight, the yellow threads appear to be a rich, gold color. The large female can be 3 inches across and can cover the palm of a person’s hand! Don’t fret though, they aren’t aggressive.
Joro spiders have been able to parachute into new areas because they can fly through the air on a strand of silk, called ballooning. They fly and form parachutes out of their webs and can travel 50-100 miles! In the fall especially, the smallermales can be seen in the web of the female. The female spins an egg sac on a tree, laying 400- 1500 eggs. These nonnative spiders can survive our winters as eggs and then after hatching, scatter as tiny juveniles.
In Japanese folklore, the Joro spider is a legendary creature changing her appearance to that of a beautiful woman. When she seeks a man to seduce, she binds the fellow in her silk to devour later.
Spiders are important in that they feed on lots of pesky insects. The impact of this introduced spider is still unknown, but scientists are hoping this spider can feed on some of our invasive insects. Enjoy the web designs and respect spiders fortheir role in the ecosystem.
Submitted by Life Science Specialist Tim Taylor