The giant, yellow Joro spider is reported to be the newest species popping up on the East Coast.
The spider, which is native to Asia, was first spotted in Georgia in 2013. The Joro spider can grow to be as big as your palm, and their silk is some of the strongest known. It is a relative of the golden silk spider, also known as the “banana spider.”
Despite the spider’s intimidating size, a local ecologist specializing in the social behavior of spiders doesn’t think the species’ spread to the Northeast is cause for alarm.
“The Joro spider is notable in that it didn’t originate in North America and appears to be more tolerant of colder weather, indicating it will establish itself in more northern climates. And it appears to build webs near other Joro spiders somewhat more densely than the Golden orb weaver,” explains Cornell University Senior Lecturer and Senior Research Associate Linda Rayor, according to The Chronicle Express. “There is no evidence that this spider presents any sort of an ecological risk or risk to people or pets of being bitten. The only way you get bitten by orb weavers is if you put your fingers in their faces, and even then, it is rare.”
Rayor hopes East Coasters can learn to embrace the presence of Joro spiders, appreciating their beauty rather being frightened when they spot one.
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