The GOLDEN SILK ORB WEAVER also commonly known as the ‘banana spider’ in Florida are common throughout warmer regions around the globe. Here on Estero Island, they can be found working on their intricate webs spanning them between trees and shrubs to capture insects. The photos shown in our blog were collected right here at Mound House. Note the complex web and the zig zag pattern within the web which gives this spider its other common name “writing spider.” The web of a banana spider can reach 3 feet or more across. Typically, these spiders weave a non-sticky outer spiral with in between spirals sticky spirals to capture prey. Interestingly, some webs are built with a haphazard network of guard strands that may hold plant detritus or insect carcasses. Scientist believe that these strands serve to alert birds of the presence of the web and avoid flying into and destroying the web.
The venom of the banana spider is potent but non- lethal to humans. The bite causes local pain, redness and blisters… so avoid them.