What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Very large spider
Location: south Mississippi
October 22, 2016 3:32 pm
I’m wondering what this spider is. Living in Mississippi, I have seen 3 of them so far and always around fall. This one is very large! The leg span could easily spread across my palm (about 3in across, 4in length), possibly grab around it a little. It’s abdomen is approx. 2-2 1/2 inches long, not including the head part. As you can see it seems to be a tan-ish color with yellow spots and yellow and black legs. Not sure if you’ve ever played Zelda, but the head part looks like the “skull spiders” on the game. We’ve just been referring to it like that Lol The web it’s made is huge, at least 3ft for just the circle. Happy to say it’s not running around or bugging anyone, yet. It’s web has been down a couple times (not by us, sticks and weather), it keeps rebuilding it right where it’s been, guess it’s eating well there. Is it poisonous? Should I be worried? I have 3 kids that love watching it but just want to be sure it’s safe.
Signature: Kate

Golden Silk Spider

Golden Silk Spider

Dear Kate,
Autumn is the time that Orbweavers, that only live for a year, reach maturity and as they reach full size, become much more visible.  Your individual is a female Golden Silk Spider,
Nephila clavipes, and though large individuals might bite if provoked and though they have venom, they are not considered dangerous.  Orbweavers are not aggressive, and they are relatively helpless outside of their webs, so they rarely leave the web.  Teach your children to respect this stunning spider, and we don’t believe you will have any need to worry.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Mississippi
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