CREATURE FEATURE: Golden Silk Orb Weaver

The Golden Silk Orb Weaver (Nephila constricta) is a large arachnid in the Araneidae family of orb weaver spiders. 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.

It can grow to 4.8–5.1 centimetres (1.5–2 inches). The female is larger than the male.

The Golden Silk Orb Weaver makes a large asymmetric orb web up to one and a half meters in diameter. It stays in its webs permanently.

Golden Silk Orb-Weaver

Golden Silk Orb Weaver

The Golden Silk Orb Weaver is widespread across the world, in warmer regions, from Australia to Asia to Africa and the Americas.

The female Golden Silk Orb Weaver produces an egg sac, which contains 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. Each sac 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.

The Golden Silk Orb Weaver changes its body positioning with the direction of the sun to maintain a regulated internal temperature. As the temperature cools, the spider positions itself to face the sun to get as much warmth as possible.

The Golden Silk Orb Weaver has venomous fangs to catch its prey, such as insects, but it does not seem to be harmful to humans.


Golden Silk Orb-Weaver

Golden Silk Orb Weaver

Golden Silk Orb Weaver

Location of photographs: Entebbe, Uganda

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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