The Joro Spider
Or, if you want to be fancy, the Jorō Spider. That’s Trichonephila clavata for those of you who are more scientifically inclined. If you’ve seen one, you know.
While the Joro spider arrived several years ago, it was the slow, then exponentially spread across northeastern Georgia in 2021 which put them into global consciousness. Georgia residents saw them around their yards, in churchyards, and outside their favorite pubs. Articles were written in the popular press, showing the world the spider’s magnificence.
Is a picture worth a thousand words? If a description is something like, “a large colorful spider,” and then you see a photo of a spider equal to a man’s hand, I say no. There’s a chance you are speechless.
We love them. We think they are beautiful. Look carefully and see their intricate design. Join us as we explore this gorgeous newcomer to the American South (and soon, the East).
There a few myths about the spider that causes some folks to panic. It’s just a big spider that happens to be colorful. Don’t hate it because its beautiful. Some of the myths are pervasive: Do you know the one about the hummingbird?
What should you do if you see a Joro spider?
Spiders of North America (Princeton Field Guides, 154)
We’re in the News!
- Wall Street Journal
- Associates Press
- Georgia Man Celebrates Jorō Spider The Jorō spider’s beauty is intoxicating like a great painting
MERCH: See our Joro gift shop. See our newest mug.
ON SALE: Search field guide for spiders on Amazon.
ON KINDLE: The First Time You Die read a story in a cemetery (no spiders, sorry).
Our goal is to help inform people about the Joro Spider in general and, to track their growth in the United States. By reducing fear and increasing joy through education, we hope we are making the world a little sweeter. Along the way, please smile with us at this wondrous creature.
- Originally from East Asia
- They are an introduced species, but not invasive.
- They can grow as big as your hand. Unless you are Shaq.
- As many as 1,500 eggs can be counted in one egg sack.
- Their web might be nine feet across.
If you live in northeast Georgia, you’ve seen them in your yard. Likewise, if you live in Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and China — they are common there. We predict they’ll take over the American South much like kudzu has. Harmful or helpful? So far, helpful.
Who Are You
I’m guessing initial visitors will be from Georgia (where I am). However, since the weather and general environment here is similar to Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina, I expect a few residents from those states to be dropping in soon. Let us know where you’re from in our Facebook group.
They mostly eat insects, but their webs are strong. A small bat or hummingbird rarely can be caught. Young tree frogs and lizards too.
This beautiful, delicate beast…
this powerful, yet light creature…
this ever-present though mysterious being…
Savage? If you are a beetle, yes.
Fearsome? Absolutely… if you are a grasshopper.
Terrible? If you are the fly which will not be going home tonight, quite.
To the human noticing them on your patio, they are awesome, as in awe-inspiring.
This is a place to get started and hopefully lead you into the wonderful, entrancing world of the Joro Spider.
We prefer to consider them stunning. Sure, walking into an unexpected spider web is alarming, but the Joro Spider means no ill-will to humans.
There’s a Japanese myth, something like the Greek Siren, in which the spider becomes a beautiful woman to entice men. Then, she eats them. OK, that’s creepy.
A Few Joro for You
These are just a few of the Joro Spiders we’ve seen around the yard.
“When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.”
“Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.”
“The difference between utility and utility plus beauty is the difference between telephone wires and the spider web.”
Edwin Way Teale
The Stuff of Nightmares or Gardens?
Maybe both. As you learn more, the nightmares will disappear.
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