Golden Orb Spider Size report

Giant golden orb spiders are usually found in primary forests, secondary forests, and gardens. In all, more than 41,000 spiders are known to science. While an average of 400-500 new spider species are found every year, a new golden orb weaver has not been discovered since 1879.

A specimen of the new spider, named Nephila komaci, was first found in 2000 in the Plant Protection Research Institute in Pretoria, South Africa. On average, the new species is the largest of all golden orb weavers known. The discovery marks the first identification of a new Nephila spider since 1879.

Nephila pilipes, also known as the northern golden orb weaver or giant golden orb weaver, is a species of golden orb-web spider. It resides all over countries in East and Southeast Asia and Oceania. It is the second-largest orb-weaving spider apart from the recently discovered Nephila komaci. You might never see a golden orb spider in daily life. The following post will share more facts about golden orb spiders.

Golden Orb Spider General Description

Golden orb weavers are large spiders with silvery-grey to plum-colored bodies, and the plastron is mostly black and brown, with yellow stripes. The legs span very long, and they are black and yellow. There are no apparent hairs on all legs. It has been reported that this sharp contrast between yellow and black color can increase foraging success towards visually-oriented prey. The first, second, and fourth pairs of legs of juvenile females have dense hairy brushes, but these brushes disappear as the spider matures.

Identification

Golden orb weavers are large spiders with silvery-grey to plum-colored bodies, and the plastron is mostly black and brown, with yellow stripes. The legs span very long, and they are black and yellow. There are no apparent hairs on all legs. It has been reported that this sharp contrast between yellow and black color can increase foraging success towards visually-oriented prey. The first, second, and fourth pairs of legs of juvenile females have dense hairy brushes, but these brushes disappear as the spider matures.

Average Size

Giant golden orb spiders display female gigantism and male dwarfism. In terrestrial animals, they have the most size differences between males and females. Male spiders are smaller, orange, and about one-third the size of female spiders. Females are large and grow to body size of 30–50 mm (overall size up to 20 cm), with males growing to 5-6.5mm. Their leg span can reach up to 15 cm.

  • Females typically have a body size of 30-50 mm. The cephalothorax is about 15 mm long, 10 mm wide. The abdomen is about 30 mm long, 15 mm wide.
  • Males' body size is typically 5 mm to 6.5 mm. The cephalothorax is about 2.5 mm long, 2 mm wide. The abdomen is about 4 mm long, 1.5 mm wide.

Living Haibts

Golden orb-weaving spiders are found in dry open forest and woodlands, coastal dune shrubland, and mangrove habitats. All orb-weaving spiders make suspended, sticky, wheel-shaped orb webs. Webs are placed in openings between trees and shrubs where insects are likely to fly. Their prey items include flies, beetles, locusts, wood moths, and cicadas. Sometimes their strong webs manage to trap small birds or bats.

Final Words

Golden orb-weavers build large, semi-permanent orb webs. The strong silk has a golden sheen. These spiders remain in their webs day and night. It is worth noting that these spiders are not very harmful to humans because golden orb spiders are not aggressive. They are reluctant to bite. Symptoms are usually negligible or mild local pain, numbness, and swelling. Occasionally nausea and dizziness can occur after a bite. Seek medical attention if symptoms persist.


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