The Golden Silk Orb-Weaver (Nephila), or Banana Spider, is a large arachnid – a spider. Nephila means fond of spinning. The Golden Silk Orb-Weaver has yellow (gold) silk, which they use to make their webs.
The Golden Silk Orb-Weaver varies in colour from reddish to greenish yellow. They can grow to 4.8–5.1 centimetres (1.5–2 inches). Females are larger than males.
The Golden Silk Orb-Weaver makes a large asymmetric orb web up to one and a half meters in diameter. They stay in their webs permanently.
The Golden Silk Orb-Weaver is widespread across the world, in warmer regions, from Australia to Asia to Africa and the Americas.
Female Golden Silk Orb-Weavers produce an egg-sac to protect her eggs. The eggs are deposited on a silk platform and are covered in loose silk to form a sac. This sac is firmly attached to surrounding vegetation so that it is hidden from view of predators. These sacs can contain 300-3,000 eggs.
Spiderlings hatch out of the eggs and form a communal web initially, living together. They eat each other and the strongest survive. The survivors leave the communal web and make their own webs.
Golden Silk Orb-Weavers change their body positioning with the direction of the sun to maintain a regulated internal temperature. As the temperature cools, the spiders position themselves to face the sun to get as much warmth as possible.
The Golden Silk Orb-Weaver has venomous fangs to catch their prey, such as insects, but it does not seem to be harmful on humans.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM