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Thread: Spider Identification - Wilmington, NC

  1. #1

    Spider Identification - Wilmington, NC

    Hello all,

    Hopefully you can help me identify a spider that is living in the woods right next to my house! My boyfriend found this spider by nearly kissing it the other day when taking our dog out. I do not believe it's poisonous, it is most likely a garden spider, but wanted to be sure. It is about 2 inches long from the tip of the back leg to the tip of the front leg, so it is rather large. The legs are yellow and black striped, and the body is quite oval and long with yellow spots. See the attached pictures (sorry for the bad quality). I've done some research, and the closest I could find was the Black and Yellow Argiope, but this doesn't really look like those pictures. Can anyone help? Thank you so much for your help, in advance!Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Whitlock's Avatar
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    Hi there stinagirl,

    You're close, this is similar to the Argiope genus. It is actually a Golden Silk orb weaver, Nephila clavipes.

    http://bugguide.net/node/view/2023

    Very cool spiders in my opinion, I sincerely wish we had them in Michigan. You're right that they aren't dangerous to humans, so no need to worry.

  3. #3

    That's It!

    Quote Originally Posted by Whitlock View Post
    Hi there stinagirl,

    You're close, this is similar to the Argiope genus. It is actually a Golden Silk orb weaver, Nephila clavipes.

    http://bugguide.net/node/view/2023

    Very cool spiders in my opinion, I sincerely wish we had them in Michigan. You're right that they aren't dangerous to humans, so no need to worry.
    Oh wow, yep, that's it! Thank you so much! Good to know that they will bite in self-defense though - I'll try to keep my dog away from her. She's very pretty (in a scary way), and she has a GINORMOUS web. You know, until I moved to North Carolina, I have never seen spiders as big as they are here - and the big ones don't seem to be poisonous. I recently saw a writing spider in a friend's garden that had about a 15 foot web, and was about 8 inches from leg tip to leg tip. Now THAT is a spider I don't want to mess with - poisonous or not! Thanks again for your help, I really appreciate it!

  4. #4
    Moderator Ungoliant's Avatar
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    The vast majority of spiders are venomous, but very few are dangerous to humans. :-)

    As a mere aside, the terms "venomous" and "poisonous" are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings. Venomous animals inject toxins into their victims through their fangs, stingers, or other sharp body parts. A poisonous animal is toxic when consumed.
    Helpful Links: ID Guide ID Resources Species Guides FAQ Spider Bites Glossary

    "There is no shame in not knowing. The problem arises when irrational thought and attendant behavior fill the vacuum left by ignorance." --Neil deGrasse Tyson

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