Ed. Note:  This email arrived at the personal email address our a member of our editorial staff

September 9, 2011 1:03:19 PM PDT
These came to me from the Natural History Museum. (I’m listing their Spider Pavilion on my website). I wanted to know what kind of spiders these are…I’m afraid they won’t know…golden orb weavers in your opinion? That’s the best I could come up with after perusing your site.
I appreciate your eyeballs!
Brenda Rees
Southern California Wildlife

Golden Silk Spider

Hi Brenda,
The silk of the Golden Silk Spider,
Nephila clavipes, is among the strongest fibers known to man, and a shawl that was woven with the naturally colored silkof a close relative from Madagascar is one of the most gorgeous woven objects imaginable.  Nephila clavipes is the only new world species from the genus, and one can’t help but to wonder if it was introduced by man many centuries ago and then mutated through successive generations to produce a unique species.

Marbled Orbweaver

The other spider pictured is the Marbled Orbweaver, Araneus marmoreus.  We found a visual match on BugGuide, but it is a highly variable species with many gorgeous color variations, and you may also read about it on Bugguide.

P.S.  The piece you wrote on Daniel was quite nice and several of his friends called to say they had seen it.


Location: California

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