Tag Archives: Golden Orb-web Spider

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.