Golden orb web spiders got their name from the color of their web, which shimmers golden yellow. The spiders themselves are black with yellow spots on their back. Their Greek name Nephila means ‘loves to spin’ which refers to the fact that these spiders will repair and renew their webs every single day of their life. Female golden orb web spiders are about 15 cm long including their legs, the body measures about 3 to 5 cm with males being a lot smaller (less than 1 cm long). Despite their own size their webs can be huge – some are built from the tops of 6m tall trees and can be up to 2m wide. The silk Golden orb web spiders produce is so strong it is possible for small birds to become entangled in the webs, although these spiders have no interest in eating birds. Sometimes Golden orb web spiders create barrier webs with insect bodies or leaves hanging from them to protect the main web from damage.
Did you know...?
…that male Golden orb web spiders give their chosen female a massage while mating to calm her down?
Golden orb web spiders are carnivores and active during daytime. They feed on flies, wasps, bees, grasshoppers, and any insect they can overpower. Female spiders of this species can eat prey twice their own body size.
Golden orb web spiders live in areas with tropical climate, like rainforests and mangrove forests.
Male spiders approach their chosen female very carefully when it comes to mating to avoid being eaten. Female Golden orb web spiders bury their eggs in a hole in the ground which is lined with silk. They can lay between 100 and 600 eggs in one clutch depending on the season and the availability of food prior to laying.