Banana Spider | Golden silk spider facts

Scientific name:   Nephila clavipes


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Arachnida

Order: Araneae

Family: Nephilidae

Genus: Nephila

Species: Nephila clavipes


These are large and brightly colored species of the orb-web spider family. Its name comes from the old Greek, meaning to love to weave. Many populaces call them the banana or gold spider web, but the other common names are calico spider, spider giant wood, golden silk orb-weaver, and spider web. Gold denotes the color of the silk, yellow threads that look like rich gold in the sun. [1]

Ecological importance

Bananas of both large and small bananas are invasive. They are well-thought-out very valuable to farm and garden insects as they feed on a variety of flying insects, and small-sized flying insects. Spider-eating banana spiders: mosquitoes, bees, small moths, hammerheads, grasshoppers, stink bugs, bedbugs, beetles, and dragonflies.

Distribution status

Banana spiders are rarely found in line crops as they need space to build their sails, but they are one of the blindest in the citrus and walnut groves. N. clavipes is the only species of the genus Nephila found in the western hemisphere.

They live in tropical regions from North Carolina to the Gulf states to Central America, to the south as far as Argentina and the West Indies (commonly found in Puerto Rico). Older brothers are found in Southeast Asia, Madagascar, and South Pacific. Bananas need high moisture and open space. They live in forests and on the roadside.

Particularly close to the beach, there are wooden beams or swamps where great numbers of adults and their tissues appear in formidable numbers. Older males first appear in July, with many older women following later, from late summer to early autumn. [2]


In the reproduction, season bananas spider female stops eating and repair herself about four days before the last molt. In the meantime, have sex. When a male reaches out he shakes her belly violently. This experience awakens the female and (somewhat, temporarily) prevents him from eating it. Once placed, the female weaves two large bags. Each of these bags contains hundreds of eggs and is lined with thick, yellow silk.

Male watches as he does so. After the last hatching, females can live about one month and males 2 to 3 weeks. Females can change sites for the formation of the web and adult male companions. Bananas have one generation in one year.

Other important facts

Silk looks like gold when twinkling in the sun, and the thread is very tough.  According to scientists, the yellow dye serves two main purposes:

First, the net is illuminated by the attractive sun and traps bees in transparent silk threads.

Second, the color is mixed with the back of the leaves, acting as camouflage in a darker and shady environment.

The cob begins to form a non-stick spiral and then fills the holes with silk paste. Banana spiders can change the color of the mesh to improve their performance in terms of light and color. The web needs to be updated regularly to continue catching animals.  [3]

Written by: Dr. Muhammad Mohsin Ahsan

Reviewed by:
Dr. Muhammad Tahir Ph.D. (PU)
Post Doctorate

American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA