Nature Blog Network

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Sticky Situation, originally uploaded by fiznatty.

For this week's Life Photo, an organism that has gotten quite a bit of press today, but that I fear will only exacerbate the common misunderstanding of it's kind that is prevalent in our society. Above is a beautiful golden silk orb weaver spider of the Genus Nephila. These spiders can grow to be pretty large (for the Nephila clavipes above, up to 40mm long) and love to spin (their genus name means spin lover) beautiful webs often with reinforcement threads in them that zig-zag back and forth looking a bit like a runway for small flying insects to follow to the center. As with many spiders they are not aggressive towards humans and their venom is not toxic. Orb weavers are pan tropical with N. clavipes, reaching into the southern U.S. Heck I really wish we could find them here in Connecticut. Maybe in another 25-30 years.

So what is the news that may exacerbate the misunderstanding of this species?

Welll, it seems that at least one of the Nephila species wanted to see the invert vs. vert series brought back and figured the best way was to show how an real invert can take on a much larger vertebrate:

Of course this is getting much play across the net, most of it remarkably good, but some reactions of fear and loathing.

Classification for the orb weaving spiders


Arthropoda (crustaceans, insects, spiders & related)



Araneae (Spiders)

Araneidae (orbweavers)



  1. Awesome!! Take that stupid songbird. Go sing your pretty little morning songs in hell.

  2. OK, I'm scared of spiders anyway, so this is definitely going to give me nightmares.

    Thing is, I know enough to know that I don't have any reason to fear spiders, but who said fears are rational?

  3. Irrational fears are anything but rational. My mom will be uncomfortable with this post as well, especially since she was bitten by a recluse long long ago. Still has the physical scars and the irrational fear, even though she knows...

    But still the material science of that web alone is uber-cool, let alone the whole Invert spanking the Verts bit...

    I think the Invert vs. Verts deserves to be brought back but limited to one per week max.

  4. Wednesday Invertebrate Smackdown? Saturday Spineless Royal Rumble?

  5. *grins* Commemorated in Spore, by me

  6. I think Saturday Spineless Smackdown is the one...

  7. You beat me to it!! I had that planned for this week... Still I'll go ahead, and give a double dose of spider love.


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