Joro Spiders With 4-Inch Legs Predicted to Unstoppably Spread Across New York and New Jersey

June 8, 2024
1 min read
Joro Spider - Trichonephila clavata.
Joro Spider - Trichonephila clavata. Photo Credit- Christina Butler (CC BY 2.0 ATTRIBUTION 2.0 GENERIC Deed)

The northeastern United States is preparing for the arrival of Joro spiders, an invasive species native to Asia known for their legs that reach up to 10 centimeters (4 inches) in length. These spiders, characterized by their yellow and gray bodies, possess the ability to travel using a “ballooning” technique that allows them to be transported by the wind.

José R. Ramírez-Garofalo, an ecologist at the Lockwood Lab at Rutgers University and president of Pine Oak Woods Protectors in Staten Island, stated that the arrival of these spiders in New York and New Jersey “is a matter of when, not if.” This invasive species has already been detected in many states along the east coast, including Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Ohio.

A recent analysis by invasive species expert David Coyle, published in a peer-reviewed study last October, concluded that these spiders “are here to stay.” “Those data show that this spider is going to be able to inhabit most of the eastern U.S.,” Coyle said. “It shows that their comfort area in their native range matches up very well with much of North America. Barring some unforeseen circumstance, we expect the range of these things to continue expanding, likely to the north, and we’ve already seen that with some populations in Maryland,” he explained.

Andy Davis, a researcher at the University of Georgia, said, “These Joro webs are everywhere in the fall, including right next to busy roads, and the spiders seem to be able to make a living there.” Davis has observed Joro spiders on streetlights and telephone poles in urban areas, noting that “for some reason, these spiders seem urban tolerant.”

The New Jersey Pest Control Company warned about the difficulty of ignoring the presence of female spiders of this species, whose legs can reach a remarkable length. Additionally, the company highlighted these spiders’ ability to “fly” using silk threads that allow them to be transported by the wind, a rare feature among spiders.

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Coyle noted that, although Joro spiders are venomous, they do not pose a significant danger to humans. There is very little evidence that they have caused harm to a person or a pet. “These are not just benign spiders coming to catch and kill bad things; these are pushing out native species and catching and killing whatever happens to get in their webs” he said. Their venom is primarily intended for their prey, such as butterflies, wasps, and cockroaches. However, they could pose a threat to native spider species.

The warning about the imminent arrival of these spiders to the northeast of the country has generated concern among the population, especially considering their remarkable size and unique ability to move through the air.

Govind Tekale

Embarking on a new journey post-retirement, Govind, once a dedicated teacher, has transformed his enduring passion for current affairs and general knowledge into a conduit for expression through writing. His historical love affair with reading, which borders on addiction, has evolved into a medium to articulate his thoughts and disseminate vital information. Govind pens down his insights on a myriad of crucial topics, including the environment, wildlife, energy, sustainability, and health, weaving through every aspect that is quintessential for both our existence and that of our planet. His writings not only mirror his profound understanding and curiosity but also serve as a valuable resource, offering a deep dive into issues that are critical to our collective future and well-being.

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