over a foot long with leg lenth, color is mustard and black on legs
September 11, 2009
This spider is huge! Its web is thick as a thin rope. I see them all throughout the woods here in Valdosta Georgia.
from whats that bug
Valdosta, Georgia, United States

Golden Silk Spider:  Scale distortion

Golden Silk Spider: Scale distortion

Dear from whats that bug,
We are highly amused by the gross exaggeration in your letter.  This is a Golden Silk Spider, Nephila clavipes, which is sometimes called  a Banana Spider.  They are native to the Southeast U.S. and range into South America.  They are harmless.  They are big spiders, but nowhere near the size you indicate.  Your photo is a wonderful example of how photography can be used to fool the eye by eliminating depth cues and distorting the actual scale relationship between two objects.  The spider is much closer to the camera and its distance relative to the person is greater than what the photo leads one to believe.  This same scale distortion was used several years ago in a widely distributed image on the internet of a Camel Spider in Iraq.  The quality of that image was much better than the low resolution, blurry image you have submitted, so we don’t expect your photo to go viral, creating mass hysteria among arachnophobes.

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