By M.P. Pellicer | Eerie.News
It's taken about ten years for the Joro spider, an invasive species to dominate the Eastern seaboard.
In February, 2022 the journal, Physiological Entomology, describes where the palm-sized spider with its resistance to cold temperatures, and the ability to disperse its hatchlings as far as 100 miles has swarmed North Georgia, and threatens to take over the Eastern coast.
The spider found its way to the United States in 2014 inside a shipping container that originated in East Asia. Twenty-five counties across Georgia have found their porches, powerlines and mailboxes draped with its thick web which can be as thick as 10 feet.
It's part of a group of spiders known as "orb weavers" because of the shape of their webs. Its scientific name is trichonephila clavata.
The name is derived from jorogumo, a Japanese ghost or Yokai, that takes the form of a spider who can disguise itself as a beautiful woman. When young and inexperienced she preys on small animals, but as she ages she seek to seduce men who she binds in her web and then devours. She also breathes fire, and controls other spiders. The original meaning of the word jorogumo is "prostituted spider".
The spider is round, with a black body striped in a bright yellow color. It's flecked on the belly with deep red marking. Joro spiders may bite when threatened, but their fangs are not large enough to puncture human or pet skin. The spider rarely bites and its venom poses no threats to humans, cats or dogs unless they are allergic.
The Joro spider is cousin to the golden silk spider which arrived in the southern United States 160 years ago, and spread far and wide. However, the Joro spider has double the metabolic rate of the golden silk spider and a 77% higher heart rate, which allows it to survive better in a cold climate.
In the springtime, the Joro spider sends its offspring to float across the landscape on a strand of silk. The young spend the winter as eggs.
On an upside the spider preys on mosquitos, biting flies and marmorated stink bugs, which damages crops and has no known predators.
The secret to the Joro's spiders survival is not aggression but its ability to reproduce.
It's unknown what the eventual impact will be on the environment or on native fauna. Chances are that it will be found in surrounding states eventually. If you find one on your property all you have to do is remove them or their web with a stick, and take them somewhere else. If you spray them with pesticide or squish them, it will just attract more of them to the spot.
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