Confused. . . .
I just recently moved to Guam and it seems all the locals call this a banana spider. I did today actually see a real banana spider. So the leads me to wonder, what spider is this? Golden orb weaver or a St. Andrews Cross Spider? I was a little confused after reading about them on your "spiders" page.
Mike (from Guam)
Your confusion lies in the use of the common name Banana Spider. We know of three spiders that share this common name, Nephila clavipes (AKA Golden Silk Spider), Heteropoda venatoria (AKA Huntsman Spider), and your spider, Argiope appensa. According to Wikipedia: “On Guam , where A. appensa is ubiquitous, it is frequently visited by Argyrodes argentatus . Locals there refer to A. appensa as banana spiders . Following the introduction of the brown tree snake and the subsequent extinction or near-extinction of many of the island’s small birds, spider populations on Guam exploded decreasing predation and competition.”