Golden Silk Spider

The golden silk spider (also called banana spider, golden orb weaver) is so named not for the color of its body but for the color of its web.
golden-silk-spider

golden-silk-spider

The golden silk spider (also called banana spider, golden orb weaver) is so named not for the color of its body but for the color of its web. The female is orange and brown and, at three inches long, up to six times the size of the male. The legs have hairy tufts. The males are brown and one-half inch long and are generally not noticed until they appear on the female's web during mating season. Sometimes several males will be seen on the same web.

Small- to mid-sized flying insects are this spider's typical prey. Webs are found in woodlands, along forest edges, in orchards and in backyards. Unlike many other spiders who spin webs repeatedly, the golden silk spider's web is more or less semi-permanent; the spider doesn't spin a new one until the old one can no longer be repaired.

This spider is common in many parts of the Southeast, from North Carolina to Florida, west along the Gulf states and into Texas. There is usually one generation each year. The males typically appear in midsummer to early fall. In the fall the females produce at least two egg sacs containing hundreds of eggs. The larger the spider, the more eggs and egg sacs she creates. Each bundle of eggs is woven into a golden basket.

The golden silk spider are considered harmless. They don't bite unless they're physically threatened, and even then, the bite is mild — much less painful than a bee sting.

Next Up

In Defense of Spiders

Learning to love the worldwide webs.

Golden Tortoise Beetle

This garden curiosity can change color under stress.

Tell Spider Mites to Bug Off

Spider mites flourish in warm, dry conditions so water plants regularly to safeguard against infestation.

Gardening Terms You May or May Not Know

Test your green I.Q. with these garden terms.

How to Provide Sharp Drainage for Your Plants

If your landscape require sharp drainage, follow these tips for successful gardening all year round.

Extending the Gardening Season

Use these methods to stretch extra days and weeks out of your growing season.

Welcome the Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle to Your Garden

This member of the ground-beetle family is considered a beneficial insect in the garden.

Planting Australian Plants in Your Garden

Some of these specimens from Down Under could have great potential for American gardens.

Parasitic Wasps

The early stages of this common wasp feed on the young of other insects.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.