Subject:  Large Jamaican spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Date: 01/10/2018
Time: 01:38 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi bugman,
Wondered if you might identify this large spider spotted in Jamaica during a trip in December.  There were many of these spiders on the property but this was the largest that I could find.  Its body was maybe an inch and a half, with long thick legs.  Interestingly, much of the web, especially the thickest strands, were yellow!
Thanks in advance!
How you want your letter signed:  Kyle

Golden Silk Spider

Dear Kyle,
This lovely lady is a Golden Silk Spider in the genus
Nephila, but she doesn’t look like Nephila clavipes, the only member of the genus found naturally in the New World.  All other members of the genus are found in Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands.  Perhaps her markings are due to the Jamaican individuals having a closed gene pool, and they are developing into a subspecies, since the image on Sharp Photography looks exactly like your individual.  The name Golden Silk Spider refers to the very strong gold colored silk spun by members of the genus.  Golden Silk Spiders might bite if provoked, but they are considered harmless.

Golden Silk Spider

Location: Ocho Rios, Jamaica

7 Responses to Golden Silk Spider from Jamaica

  1. Oh, that spider is very common here in Brazil and we call them Nephila Clavipes, is it wrong? They are not that specific species?

  2. Jim Harrison says:

    Silk from spiders of this genus has been woven into cloth at great expense and effort. The natural color of the silk is exceedingly beautiful. If I were a billionaire, I wouldn’t buy a solid gold toilet, but I’d commission a spider silk shirt—if I was just a multi-millionaire, maybe I’d settle for a tie.

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