Nephila clavata (Nephilidae) [Japanese name : joro-gumo]
In midautumn, these spiders are seen in gardens, in parks, on braches of
roadside trees, and on woodland paths, etc.
It is the queen of Japanese arachnids. The huge yellow-and-gray abdomen
and yellow-and-black striped legs are unmistakable.
Seen from the opposite side, a bright red near the tip of the abdomen is
another good field mark.
The spider makes a large web that looks like the hoof of a horse, or
horseshoe orb web.
The threads radiate irregularly out from both the back and the front of the web. By reason of
this structure, when you see the web from the side, it seems to have a triple structure.
When a prey is caught in a spider's web, this spider bit at the prey in the first instance.
A careful search along the edges of the web usually reveals one or two other spiders, only a
third or a fourth as long as the big one. These are males, waiting for chance to mate with
The female lays her eggs on the trunk of a tree, the side of a building, or even the
underside of a leaf. The eggs are fastened to the surface with special thred and remain
dormant throughout the winter, haching out the following May. The adults all die off with the
onset of winter.
The length is 20-30 mm.
It is found on four main islands in Japan - namely, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa.
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