Golden Orb-Web Spider

Genus Nephila

The Golden Orb-web Spiders are some of the most impressive, and noticeable, arachnids you’ll encounter in South Africa. With a body length of up to 6cm and legspan of 10cm or more, female Golden Orb-Web Spiders are much larger than the males (whose bodies are usually less than a cm long), whom are often found sharing a web with a female. The web from which their name is derived is extremely large; often over a meter wide and straddling the space between adjoining trees, bushes and fenceposts, woven in a wagon-wheel shape with concentric strands and strong enough to entrap even small birds, though insects are their main target. Several such webs are often found in close proximity to one another. These diurnal spiders can deliver a painful bite, but the venom of the Golden Orb-Web Spiders is not harmful to humans.

From his position at the edge of her web, the male will attempt to approach the female and mate with her while she is consuming her prey, for fear of becoming a meal himself (which often happens). Female Golden Orb-Web Spiders produce up to four egg sacs annually, each containing hundreds of eggs that take about two months to hatch.

There is eleven species of this genus in Africa.

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35 thoughts on “Golden Orb-Web Spider

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      When they’re as charismatic as especially these long-legged ladies are, how could you not give them attention!?
      Seeing a golden orb-web spider always brings me happy memories of my time as a student in the Hoedspruit area. Carefree, happy times.

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  1. John

    Very beautiful picture of the spiders. They are very important in the nature, many people don’t think about that, they are most scared of them. We have only one poison spider in Sweden and it have very little poison so it don’t even harm healthy people at all. I never kill any spider I have indoors. I use to take them out, or just let them be. I have a giant house spider in my home. They are useful!

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  2. perdebytjie

    Spinnekoppe is van my gunsteling natuurwesentjies! Mense dink altyd ek is mal as ek sê my huis is ‘n welkome woonplek vir hulle. Dankie vir die mooi foto’s en inligting, Dries. Pragtig soos altyd!

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Ek moet erken na daai een my in my slaap op die lip gebyt het en twee nagte in die hospitaal en 6 maande op antibiotika in die sak gebring het is ek nie meer so verdraagsaam met hulle binne in die huis nie. Help hulle met die grootste graagte weer buite toe…

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Astounding that some people can be so ignorant about the world around them, but on the other hand they may be arachnophobes that will kill such an enormous spider on sight, so perhaps it is better that way…

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Ek dink ons verstom onsself nogal aan die dinge wat n mens na spesiale plekke, mense en tye kan laat terug dink met tye! Veral wanner die wereld waar jy jou op daai punt bevind so drasties verskil van dit waarna jy terug verlang.

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      1. scrapydo2.wordpress.com

        Ja, mens se brein bly terugflits na die vorige ondervindings. Daar was n so-genaamde reënspinnekop. in die Bosveld. Hy sal net voor groot reën in die huis kom en dan , soos hul beweer, op die hoogte van die komende water horisontaal teen die muur beweeg. Dis nogal groot spinnekoppe. As jy so rustig sit en TV kyk en skielik trek jou oog die beweging en jy sien wat dit is is dit nogal grillerig. Sit n bottel oor en laat in die veld vry!

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            1. de Wets Wild Post author

              Soos ek in die onlangse verlede uitgevind het kan enige spinnekopbyt gevaarlik wees – n sekondere infeksie van die bytplek kan groot moeilikheid veroorsaak en teen die tyd wat ek my kursus klaarmaak sal ek 6 maande van antibiotika op my kerfstok he na n onbekende spinnekop my in my slaap aan die lip gebyt het!

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              1. scrapydo2.wordpress.com

                Sjoe dis nie lekker nie. Hoe het jy geweet dis n spinnekop? Ek weet my suster se dogter het perd gery en gedink dis n perdehaar wat in haar vel gesteek het . In tussentyd was dit n spinnekop wat haar gebyt het. Die plek het kan mens sê weggevrot en n hele gat ingeval agv spinnekop se byt. Hul het ook lank gesukkel om dit gesond te kry.

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                1. de Wets Wild Post author

                  Dit is verskriklik wat met jou susterskind gebeur het, Ineke!
                  So 4 dae na dit gebeur het is ek in die hospitaal opgeneem en dit is daar waar die spinnekopbyt toe identifiseer is as die oorsaak.

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                  1. scrapydo2.wordpress.com

                    Dit was in Naboom gewees en die plaaslike dr het maar gesukkel om haar weer oor die ding te kry. Bly hul het uitgevind dis n spinnekop wat jou gebyt het. Ek is bv tweemaal deur n skerpioen gesteek. Tweede keer was erg. Hospitaal toe en toe is ek alergies vir die teengif. Bygesê dit was darem eeue gelede en ek dink teengif was dalk nog nie so gevorderd nie.

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