Fascinating Facts about the Banana Spider!
Do banana spiders get their name because they are sometimes found in banana shipments or because of the color of their body? Either way, with a funny name like that this yellow arachnid surely can’t be that scary, right? After all, the color yellow represents happiness and optimism. Yet, banana spiders might be more dangerous than you think. Let's take a closer look at a few banana spider facts, so you can decide how to react if you find yourself in its presence.
Are There Different Types of Banana Spiders?
There are three different types of spiders in the world that are commonly referred to as banana spiders:
The Brazilian wandering spider is an extremely venomous spider found in Central and South America. Highly toxic, it's venom can kill a small child. Interestingly, these hairy, brown arachnids don't build webs but hunt their prey like little jaguars. If you are bitten, seek medical help rapidly.
On the other hand, the yellow and black Argiope spiders don't cause much of a reaction in humans in case of a bite. They can be found all over the United States as well as on several islands in the Western Pacific Ocean and can also be referred to as garden spiders, due to their relative harmlessness.
Nephila clavipes are the third type of banana spiders, a large and brightly colored species with cylindrical bodies, native to the Americas. Large zigzag webs are a trademark of the banana spider. They are very common in swampy regions. These are more commonly referred to as golden silk orb-weaver spiders. It is important to know that all the spiders of the genus Nephila are known as banana spiders and not just Nephila clavipes. Many people rightfully stay away from spiders because of their reputation for fabricating deadly venom. These types of banana spiders do have a potent bite, but their poison isn’t a cause for concern for an adult human. Their poison is similar to the poison used by the infamous black widow spider; however, it is a much weaker variant of the toxin. If bitten by a banana spider, you can expect some redness, discomfort, blisters, and maybe some swelling. Some species have large fangs, so if they do have occasion to bite you, it might hurt like any other puncture wound, but the symptoms should disappear within a day or two and your health will not be at risk.
Banana Spider Facts
The banana spider is a very interesting spider, so let us look at some interesting facts about the banana spider.
- The oldest surviving spider genus in the world is the Nephila genus. The oldest known species from the Nephila genus lived approximately 165 million years ago and looks very similar to several species that are currently alive.
- They are welcome in many gardens as they have been observed to limit the presence of fruit flies significantly.
- Many fishermen who fish on coasts of the Indo-Pacific Ocean remove Nephilia webs. Turn them into a ball which they then throw into the water. Once in the water, it unfolds and is used to catch fish.
- They have been observed to grow up to 2 inches in size with the females being larger than the males. Their legs are sometimes over 5 inches in size.
- The color of the web silk is gold. They are the only known species of spider to make webs in this color.
- The female usually eats the male after they mate.
- In Latin, Nephilia Clavipes can be translated in English to “fond of spinning.”
- They can be found in Africa, Asia, Australia as well as the southeastern states of the United States.
- They have many different names. Some of them are golden silk orb-weaver, the writing spider and the giant wood spider.
- Their webs are massive and can be as wide as a meter.
- Smaller spiders have been observed to live in a banana spider’s web. They also steal prey that gets caught in the web.
- They have a poor vision which makes them rely heavily on their other senses.
- They are especially sensitive to vibrations.
- Despite how threatening they may look, banana spiders are pretty shy. Like many spider species they aren’t aggressive and will usually look to run or jump away if they sense danger. However, like other animals, if cornered they will stay and fight, biting if they feel threatened.
- Their diet includes small to medium size insects including moths, mosquitoes, flies, butterflies, grasshoppers, and some small snakes.
- All banana spiders have a great fear of cockroaches.
There is a lot more that can be learned about these beautiful and sometimes cute creatures. Spiders are fascinating creatures, and new species are always being discovered because there are so many of them. They are often given an undeserved bad reputation because a few of them are poisonous enough to be taken seriously by humans. Most of them aren’t a threat to most humans and will happily go along their way if you don’t bother them. They are marvelous creatures that play an underreported role in the ecosystem.