There are some things in nature that will creep you out, no matter how much you know about them. Spiders are one of those critters. Having said that, they are an important part of the landscape and our ecosystem, so they’re at least worth mentioning.
Say hello to Mrs. Spider and her husband. The one below is a golden silk spider, Nephila clavipes (Linnaeus), also known as a banana spider. This particular spider is a member of the orb weaver family, named for their spiral wheel shaped webs. Evidently their webs take on a yellow color when seen in the sun. Anyway, I found her and hubby “hanging out” between a couple of trees in a web that was probably 10 feet wide.
My wife wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about this find and wanted to know where they were. She relaxed a bit when I told her they were behind the “fence”. After all, a fence will almost certainly protect you from spiders….
The good news is golden silk spiders aren’t very aggressive and will only bite if provoked. Otherwise they just collect other insects in their webs for food. Look closely above Mr’s Spider in the first picture and you’ll see the much smaller Mr. Spider with his legs sticking out.
It’s nice to have a diversity of insects among your landscape, spiders in particular should help reduce the mosquito population. For that reason alone they are more than welcome to stay as long as they want.