Finally, an invasive species that isn't so bad: the (giant) Joro spider

  

Category:  Fields and Streams

Via:  hallux  •  4 weeks ago  •  6 comments

By:   Cheryl Santa Maria

Finally, an invasive species that isn't so bad: the (giant) Joro spider
Yes, they're big. Yes, they're everywhere (in Georgia). But other than that, Joro spiders aren't so bad, experts say.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Draping neighbourhoods with webs as thick as 3 metres, clinging to porches, branches, and vegetable patches, millions of invasive Joro spiders ( Trichonephila clavata ) have descended upon 25 counties in the U.S. state of Georgia.

The giant spiders - noted for their long legs and bright yellow abdomens - are about 7 cm long, originally from East Asia and first spotted in North America in   2014 .

The spider's population has grown steadily south of the border in the years following, with 2021 being one of the worst on record.

According to   University of Georiga (UGA) entomologist Will Hudson , as many as 300 Joros recently blanketed the porch of his home, rendering it unusable.

“Last year, there were dozens of spiders, and they began to be something of a nuisance when I was doing yard work,” he said in a press release.

“This year, I have several hundred, and they actually make the place look spooky with all the messy webs — like a scene out of 'Arachnophobia.'"

The spiders likely hitchhiked their way into North America via a shipping container. Entomologists say residents should get used to them because they "aren't going anywhere."

'NOT SO BAD'


But unlike other invasive species, which can outcompete native wildlife and damage the environment, Rick Hoebeke of Georgia Museum of Natural History, who first identified the Joro spider in Georgia, says this species isn't so bad. For starters, UGA specialists haven't seen any detrimental effects on native species due to the presence of Joros, aside from them being a nuisance to humans.

And the spiders - which are striking due to their bright colours - act as natural pest control for mosquitoes and other biting insects, reducing the need for chemical pesticides. While Joros can bite people, they are unlikely to do so because they not aggressive. For that reason, experts classify them as not harmful to humans.

And here's one good thing about their size: They're typically big enough that they won't sneak up on you, making them easier to avoid.

Most Joros will have died off by late November, leaving behind egg sacs that will hatch in spring.

While the spiders are booming this year, experts suspect Mother Nature will even out the numbers by next season.


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Hallux
Sophomore Principal
1  seeder  Hallux    4 weeks ago

Legs included, 15 cms is 6 inches and sorry arachnologists anything that big on 8 legs is, like it or not, scary.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.1  devangelical  replied to  Hallux @1    4 weeks ago

yikes.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
2  Perrie Halpern R.A.    4 weeks ago

I think the little bugger is very pretty. If you are going to be a spider, you may as well be colorful.

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
3  Tacos!    4 weeks ago
as many as 300 Joros recently blanketed the porch of his home

Oh, HELL no. Spiders and I do not get along. Webs all over the porch? That ain’t happening. There will be blood!

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
4  Trout Giggles    4 weeks ago

Oh, hey, Lil Buddy! Welcome to my back yard! Over there you will find a tasty meal of skeeters so don't go away hungry. Over here may be some scorpions...eat all you want.

Now...some ground rules. No dragonflies, hummingbirds, or butterflies. And please try to get along with the wolf spiders..they were here first

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
5  seeder  Hallux    4 weeks ago

Y'all nuts down there but I just may buy my first gun ...

 
 
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