Golden Silk Spider, Banana Spider, Golden Silk Orbweaver (Nephila clavipes)

Order: Araneae
Family: Tetragnathidae
Genus: Nephila
Species: clavipes


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Anniston, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama (2 reports)
Vincent, Alabama
Wetumpka, Alabama
Atlantic Beach, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Fernandina Beach, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
Lake Butler, Florida
Lake Wales, Florida
Live Oak, Florida
Lutz, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Palm Harbor, Florida
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Saint Cloud, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida
Titusville, Florida
Wauchula, Florida
Williston, Florida
Cobbtown, Georgia
Rincon, Georgia
Savannah, Georgia
Waycross, Georgia
Hammond, Louisiana
Lafayette, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Ruston, Louisiana
Sunset, Louisiana
Thibodaux, Louisiana
Moss Point, Mississippi
Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Pascagoula, Mississippi
Pope, Mississippi
Vicksburg, Mississippi
Sneads Ferry, North Carolina
Wilmington, North Carolina
North Charleston, South Carolina
Pawleys Island, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Beaumont, Texas
Conroe, Texas
Houston, Texas
Mesquite, Texas
New Caney, Texas (2 reports)
Santa Fe, Texas
Hampton, Virginia
Norfolk, Virginia
Show all

Members' Notes:


On Oct 25, 2017, lightyellow from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL wrote:

I've only seen them in my small yard once (in its most shady/secluded spot). I find them most common in and around wetlands here.
I think I have too many mud daubers (which prey on them) to get any of these which is unfortunate because they're lovely spiders and one of the most docile species, possibly scary to people because of its size but completely non-dangerous. I've handled them plenty of times and never got bit.
[In general web-building spiders are pretty non-aggressive, the minority of aggressive species all tend to be ground dwellers that actively hunt down prey like the wolf spider.]

In FL some people erroneously call them "banana spiders" which is a venomous species most common in Central and South America.

Females are much larger tha... read more


On Jan 17, 2017, SteveLloyd941 from Frederick, MD wrote:

On a vacation in Jekyll Island, GA, I "discovered" this spider when I almost walked face-first through its enormous web! I had my camera with me at the time and spent the next half-hour shooting pictures of it. On return trips to Jekyll I saw them again. Here in Frederick, MD, we have a smaller but still impressive cousin of this creature. I tend to see them especially in August and September when the weather is hot and humid. I will admit I'd just as soon not have this spider walking on me, but I look forward to my next opportunity to get good close-up photos again.


On Aug 8, 2013, AmayaFox from Cobbtown, GA wrote:

I have never in my life seen this kind of spider until today, and I'm dumb enough to play with the thing. This ones wed wasn't a golden color, but instead an orange color and it was in a tree. Biggest spider I have ever laid my eyes on besides the Tarantula at the pet store


On Aug 21, 2009, kscha from New Caney, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I noticed this spider a few weeks ago. It spun a huge web between my house and a large oak tree. I noticed last night that she moved her web to a spot between the same oak and the chain link fence. She is BEAUTIFUL! Catches lots of bugs and even my pesky wasps. Her body is probably two inches long. Will be posting a pic shortly.


On Aug 3, 2009, ashvlgrl from North Charleston, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

My neighbor and I each have at least 10 of these beauties each in our yards. She teases my because I can't get to my spiders well enough to take good pictures so I snap hers.

The only problem that I have with these guys is that they attached webs to the front 1/2 of my husband's riding mower while we were out of town. I hated to do it, but I had to tear the webs down. They've already moved to the other side of the shed, though!

This is the first year I've had them, but my neighbor has them every year. Right now the largest one is at least 6" in diameter (including legs, of course).

I've also heard that they've been known to catch small bats and birds in their webs!


On Jul 14, 2008, aamaazon from Ruston, LA wrote:

This Golden Beauty moved onto my back porch last nite or this morning; probably due to the rain storm we were having. Today was my first time ever seeing such a spider so of course I came online right away to see who this magnificent creature was. Awesome! Mother nature always has a miriad of surprises! I'm not a bug watcher, but I've always allowed spiders to live in and around my house because it's their job to take care of the bugs and keeps me from breathing all those pesticides. Hope you enjoy the marvelous picture I found online of her and her mate.


On Jun 2, 2008, BUTTONS_MAMA from Mobile, AL wrote:

I heard that these predict hurricanes; if there is one coming they will pack up and leave about a week before. Needless to say, I leave them alone, mainly to see if it is true.


On Sep 9, 2007, zibdi from Sneads Ferry, NC wrote:

Very interesting spider. A bit intimidating, with its size and being up higher than our head. Very large web strung between a few trees.


On Jul 31, 2007, DebinSC from Georgetown, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I've found at least a dozen of these around our yard this summer, mostly with webs strung between large azaeas and pine trunks. Their webs are very large and I have seen females that are at least 2..5" in size. Beautiful to look at. As spiders go, fairly benign and they trap other pests, so I rated them as positive.


On May 18, 2007, Two_and_a_cat from Titusville, FL wrote:

These are way cool critters. They are the only spiders I've come across that will create "colonies" of many webs. They are amazing... and of course, pretty big- at least the females... you can easily miss a male! They can eat some big prey... another natural pest control vector... we love 'em!


On Mar 11, 2007, nick89 from Tallahassee, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Enormous spiders! Can not believe the size difference between the two sexes (the female is much larger). Their webs are also huge. Seem to be very common in all of Florida.


On Jan 23, 2007, FloridaG8or from Lake Butler, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is by far my favorite spidar! Every spring our yard explodes with these guys. I have never known them to be "Golden Silk Spiders," just Banana Spiders. I have no complaints with these little guys, every web in our yard usually has house flys, and other pests. When I was a kid, my friends and I thought it was cool how the back of their head looks like a skull. (A little too much detail) we thought that is where they got the spiders from in Zelda-Ocarena of Time. (Told you too much detail)


On Aug 6, 2006, Sheila965 from Rincon, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I absolutely LOVE banana spiders. I've been wanting one since we moved to our new home 3 years ago. They are amazingly fast! They are great for bug control. I understand they will bite if threatened but I've never bothered them. I just enjoy watching them.


On Aug 1, 2006, princessnonie from New Caney, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Females are among the largest Orb Weavers in the United States.
The web is large and golden and often at the edge of woods.
A bite will produce localized pain at the site, said to be less severe than a bee sting.