Thursday, November 21, 2013

Giant Florida Spider

While in Florida last week, I took a walk through the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. It is an example of what southeast Florida looked like before the drastic re-shaping of the 20th Century. I thought it was surprisingly empty of wildlife. A heron and some baby raccoons were all I came across until I was heading out of the park. 

As I walked between trees, I looked up and almost screamed. A whole row of these beauties were overhead. They are as big as my hand. I'm not kidding.

Golden Banana spiders Nephila clavipes are non-aggresive, as are most spiders. They are great bug catchers as you can see in the web.

While researching this spider I came across another spider, also called a banana spider. That South American spider has been found on supermarket bananas. That spider is aggressive and its venom is quite toxic.  The Scaredy Cat Naturalist will be carefully perusing all bananas before they go in the grocery cart.

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