Who are we and why the Joro Spider
Why the Joro Spider?
I grew up near Chicago, fascinated by spiders and insects, and pretty much anything that moved and lived in the wild. I thought at first I would grow up to be some kind of naturalist. I especially loved butterflies and moths, though frogs and toads carried a certain allure.
Sometime, when I was nine or 10, I captured an orb spider and kept it in a 10 gallon tank I previously had kept a painted turtle named Alexander. The spider’s web went in a circle. Something like a bicycle wheel but more complex. It was strong enough to take on a large grasshopper or angry cricket. Each night, it would be repaired with meticulous perfection.
Having moved to Georgia, I was exposed to fauna unfamiliar to me in Illinois. All sorts of lizards, snakes, butterflies, and so much more. In June of 2021, the Joro Spider turned up in my life. Dozens of them. They were on the deck, the porch, the bushes, the lawn furniture… everywhere. I asked around. No one seemed to know. It turned out no one in America outside of my little corner of Georgia had seen one before. At least, no one I knew.
I later learned scholars were already studying them, and arachnologists, both trained ones and hobbyists were on it. Spider groups on Facebook occasionally discussed them. I wanted more.
I’m now doing my best to learn and help others who want to learn. In my non-expert opinion, I believe the Joro Spider will find its way across the American South. We’ll know soon.
This site is a work in progress. Researchers are still learning how the Joro Spider will impact the United States. I’ll try to keep up, and invite your ideas.