Ultimate Golden Silk Orb Weaver Guide (Banana Spider Facts)

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There are four different types of spiders that are referred to as banana spiders.

These are the:

  • Cupiennius salei spider of Mexico and South America
  • Brazilian wandering spider
  • Argiope appensa, hailing from the islands in the western Pacific
  • Golden silk orb weaver

Of the four mentioned types of banana spiders, this article will cover the golden silk orb weaver along with its impressive traits and amazing facts that you probably didn’t know before.

Reviewed By:
Ed Spicer

Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management. He manages Pest Strategies now helping homeowners around the world!

Table of Contents

    What Are Banana Spiders?

    Dubbed as the architects of the arachnid world, the banana spiders are best known for their ability to spin sturdy spider webs and produce golden silk coloring.

    Scientifically known as Nephila clavipes and otherwise known as the giant wood spider, golden orb-weaver, and golden silk spider, this gold-spewing arachnid typically thrives in countries with warm climates.

    Experts believe that the golden color of their silk has two major functions. One is to attract its prey more efficiently into its sticky trap. The other is to provide a camouflage cover against its adversaries in the food chain.

    Read more: How banana spiders differ from common household spiders

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    Banana Spider Habitat

    This type of banana spider prefers regions with a tropical climate. The arachnid favors humidity and spins its web where there is an abundance of a wide variety of flying insects.

    Golden silk orb weavers are often found in dry open forests, swamps, and areas that are densely populated by trees and shrubs which are essential for the spider to secure its web.

    Most of the time, webs of banana spiders are built at human eye level. In some cases however, golden orbs can also be seen along tree tops.

    Will Banana Spiders Bite You?

    Compared to the Brazilian wandering spider, the golden silk orb weaver is a far less venomous spider. A spider bite from this type of spider is not something to worry about since it is not potent enough to be lethal.

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    How to Identify a Banana Spider

    As clarified earlier, there are four specific types of spiders that share a common name of banana spider. In this article, you will be guided through the process of identifying the golden silk orb weaver.

    Banana Spider Size

    Male banana spiders are quite small growing to only about 1/4 of an inch or a little over 6 millimeters.

    The female spiders on the other hand are a bit scary in their sheer size. Also known as the giant wood spider, adult female golden silk orb weavers can grow to as much as 2.7 inches in body length (legs not included).

    Banana Spider Color

    It’s quite easy to identify the banana spider in its habitat. Apart from its giant shining orbs (one meter across) and scary size, golden silk orb weavers have a rather attractive appearance.

    The spider is predominantly reddish to greenish yellow in color accented with white patches along its large abdomen.

    Banana spiders, particularly the females, have long legs that can grow to as long as 2-3 inches. These legs have patches of hair (essential for picking up vibrations) in particular segments and come in stripes of yellow and red.

    Banana Spider Webbing

    Considering its sheer body size, banana spiders are capable of yielding wide webs that can run up to a meter across. In the forest, the orb’s support strands can extend to as much as several more meters.

    Banana spiders are also capable of excreting a golden coloring fluid which it uses to strategically coat its complex but sturdy web. When struck by sunlight, the orb a golden yellowish glow which attracts its prey.

    The orb is also maintained and renewed by the spider daily or every other day.

    Diet and Feeding Behavior

    Just like the most of its orb yielding brothers and sisters, the banana spiders rely mainly on its ability to sense the slightest vibrations in its web to determine if whether or not it’s time to feed.

    The spider has patches of black hairs on its 1st, 2nd, and 4th pairs of legs which are essential in picking up vibrations.

    Because of its large web and body size, the banana spider is capable of trapping and consuming a wide spectrum of small to medium sized insects which include grasshoppers, moths, mosquitoes, bees, and butterflies.

    Do Banana Spiders Eat Mice?

    Their strong and sturdy orbs and sheer body size (female banana spiders) also make them capable of adding small birds, bats, and small snakes into their diet.

    However, there are still no known records that indicate the golden silk orb weaver’s craving for rodent cuisine.

    Considering the mouse’s agility and the concerned spider’s feeding behavior, it seems impossible for the two creatures to meet on a dinner table. Yet there are other types of spiders, like the Brazilian wandering spider, which are able to hunt down these common household pests.

    Read more: Mouse in the house? Here are 5 ideas to keep mice away


    How Do Banana Spiders Get Around?

    Golden silk orb weavers are not really fond of moving around too often. In fact, with their webs established, these spiders stay in their nests from day through night waiting for their next meal to come.

    Do They Jump?

    Apart from their main orbs, banana spiders also spawn complex networks of barrier threads that provide protection from larger predators. These threads are spun in various directions to cover the spider’s flanks.

    In the face of imminent danger, the golden silk orb weaver will jump away. But when cornered, these spiders will just stay and stand its ground.

    Do They Swim?

    Banana spiders don’t swim at all. Most of the time, they lie in wait within their orbs for their next meal. Like most spiders, they simply crawl their way among trees in search of more suitable nesting grounds.

    Do They Crawl Across Banana Trees?

    Golden silk orb weavers have earned the nickname banana spider for two main reasons. One is that their golden silk coloring fluid resembles a shade similar to bananas.

    The other reason is that these spiders are also often found nesting between banana trees which are a dominant fruit tree among tropical countries.

    However, this isn’t always the case. The golden orb weaver spider got its banana spider nickname due to its body shape and color.


    Will Banana Spiders Bite You?

    Compared to the Brazilian wandering spider, the golden silk orb weaver is a far less venomous spider. A spider bite from this type of spider is not something to worry about since it is not potent enough to be lethal.

    But what happens when a golden silk orb weaver bites you? People who get bitten by golden silk orb weavers will most likely experience a painful sore and blister that will definitely go away after one or two days.

    In some cases however, bites from this specific type of banana spider can cause an allergic reaction to some people. In a scenario where difficulty in breathing takes place, it is important to seek immediate medical attention.

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