(08/29/2008) Golden-Silk Spider Eating Large Dragonfly – Palm Beach County – Florida
Hello Purveyors of Bug Identifications,
First – thanks for providing such an educational website. I use it quite a bit while working for the Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management. We oversee the protection of thousands of acres of wildlands and one of my numerous jobs is to create trail guides/publications for these properties. This means I need to know what sorts of creatures roam the woodlands – and since I work in the warm, wet climate of South Florida, that means lots of bugs! I am sending you a picture of a female golden-silk spider enjoying a light repast of dragonfly. This photos was taken at the Delray Oaks Natural Area in Delray Beach, Florida. Note, I believe the small spider in the upper right corner is a male. He seems to be waiting his turn at the dinner table – probably smart considering the huge size discrepancy between the two. If he is not careful, he may be dessert! Keep up the great work!
Senior Environmental Analyst
Palm Beach County
Your letter came at the perfect time to be selected as the Bug of the Month for September as well as being cross referenced in the Food Chain and Bug Love. Golden Silk Spiders, Nephila clavipes, have pronounced sexual dimorphism, with the female sometime being 100 times the mass of the diminutive male. Golden Silk Spiders have extremely strong silk, and attempts have been made to use it for fabric, but this is far too expensive to be practical. Golden Silk Spiders are also called Banana Spiders and can be found in the southeastern US and south all the way to Argentina.
OK, this is just sad
I’m anxiously awaiting the September Bug of the Month…does that mean I’m addicted?
We usually post the new Bug of the Month on the last day of the month even if we have selected it a few days earlier. It will be live shortly.