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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 02, 2021

Nephila Pilipes: 19 Facts You Won't Believe!

Read these fascinating Nephila pilipes facts about their predators, habitats, and subspecies of golden orb weaving spiders.

Nephila pilipes, also known as the northern golden orb weaver or giant golden orb weaver, is a species of spider that belongs to the class Arachnida and is given the scientific name Nephila as this spider species love to weave webs that mainly constitute giant orb-like silk webs.

The Nephila pilipes distribution is in areas of New Zealand, Asia, Africa, Australia, and America. They can be found in areas that have huge forests and woodland along with coastal dunes. Female spiders are bigger than the males and a huge difference in size can be seen. The Nephila pilipes life span will only range from 11 to 12 months.

This spider species is called the golden orb weaver as the web that is weaved by them tends to look gold-like as it is yellowish and intricate. Their web is almost 100 times stronger than artificial fabric synthetic used in modern times.

If you want to discover more fun facts about the Nephila pilipes, then check out other articles on the green lynx spider and  orb-weaver spider.

Nephila Pilipes Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Nephila pilipes?

Nephila pilipes are a species of spider and are orb-weavers. They are carnivorous and tend to feed on insects, but these spiders are very picky with the food that they eat. Their web spinning skills are immaculate and this also helps them to catch larger prey.

What class of animal does the Nephila pilipes belong to?

The giant wood spider Nephila pilipes belongs to the class Arachnida and the family Araneidae. Nephila is a genus of tropical spiders.

How many Nephila pilipes are there in the world?

It is quite difficult to get an exact count on the number of Nephila pilipes present in the whole world, but they are consistently found in the North American continent.

Where does the Nephila pilipes live?

The giant wood spider, Nephila pilipes, is accustomed to staying in warmer temperatures and resides in areas of  New Zealand, Asia, Africa, Australia, and America.

What is a Nephila pilipes's habitat?

Due to their need for weaving webs, they look for areas of dense forests and woodland. Wet and urban areas are also good for this giant wood spider and they can also be found in coastal areas.

Who does a Nephila pilipes live with?

Nephila pilipes are solitary animals and tend to stay alone. The only time they can be seen with other spiders is during the mating season.

How long does the Nephila pilipes live?

The life span of orb-weaving spiders isn't very long and they survive for only 11-12 months.

How do they reproduce?

The female and male giant golden orb weaver are perfect examples of gigantism and dwarfism as the female spider is much bigger in size than the male spiders, even though they are the same species. Mating can be seen as a sport for male spiders as there is a huge possibility that the female will kill them by overpowering them.

Several male spiders compete with one another in order to get the female spider's attention and after they get the attention, they vibrate their abdomen in order to get the female spider to mate with them. Other species of spiders can be seen being killed while mating or female spiders being subjected to cannibalism, but Nephila pilipes are much calmer and the male spider tends to create a silk deposit of its hormones to calm down the female spider.

After mating, the female spider lays her eggs in small holes in the ground and can lay 300-3000 eggs at a time. The eggs are protected by the female spider until they mature and newborn spiders emerge. Unlike other species of spiders like the giant huntsman spider, the male giant wood spider doesn't play much of a role before or after mating.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN Red List, the Nephila pilipes are Not Evaluated as it is quite hard to keep a track of the number of spiders present in the world. Recently, this giant wood spider was found in New Zealand.

Nephila Pilipes Fun Facts

What does a Nephila pilipes look like?

These little orb weavers are one of the most astounding spiders and look distinctive as well. The female spider is larger in size than the male spider. Female orb weavers are mostly dark yellowish-brown and have yellow horizontal stripes on their bodies. The top part is brown or black and is hairy while the bottom part is mostly black and brown. Their eyes bulge on both sides and they have long spindle-like legs which are yellowish-brown.

The male spider is also brown and black contrasted but the top part of their exterior skeleton is yellow and has very little hair. Their legs are small and brown in color.

The Nephila pilipes spider and their subspecies weave an intricate web to wait for prey to get captured.

How cute are they?

These bright yellow weavers are quite fascinating to look at and being harmless also adds to their level of beauty. They might not be your regular breed of Miki dogs but they are definitely pretty.

How do they communicate?

The golden orb-weaving spider uses vibrations as a mode of communication like other species of spiders like the bold jumping spider. They also tend to mimic the vibrations of other insects to catch bigger prey like birds, bats, and other bigger insects by making sounds from their abdomens.

How big is a Nephila pilipes?

Female giant golden orb weavers (Nephila pilipes) size will range from 1.5-2 in (4.8-5.1 cm) while male orb weavers are 0.78-1 in (2-2.5 cm).

How fast can the Nephila pilipes move?

The speed at which they move has not been measured but it is observed that the male spider is quite active as they have to act quickly to make webs and catch prey. The female spider is also fast as they take care of their eggs from parasites and prey on their own.

How much does the Nephila pilipes weigh?

The weight of a female Nephila pilipes range from 0.0066- 0.0088 lb (3-4 g) while the males weigh about 0.0015-0.0022 lb (0.7-1 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names associated with the different sexes of orb weavers are just differentiated on the basis of their size.

What would you call a baby Nephila pilipes?

Baby spiders are called spiderlings and the same goes for giant golden orb weaver newborns.

What do they eat?

These spiders are predators and prey mostly on insects and moths that get stuck in their web. A Nephila pilipes diet is similar to giant wood spiders and consists of flies, beetles, or other smaller insects. The web weaved by these spiders is so intricate and sticky that often smaller birds and bats get stuck in the webs.

Are they poisonous?

They are not venomous spiders, but they tend to bite when threatened. If bitten, humans will not die but their bite can cause redness, rashes, and infections.

Would they make a good pet?

If you are a spider enthusiast, giant orb weavers are a great so-called pet, but these wild animals are solitary creatures and captivity can often harm them. Another reason for not keeping them as pets is that they weave huge webs which can be harmful to homes as well as other pets like animals like the Daschund beagle mix.

Did you know...

In the Indo-Oacific region, fishermen tend to use the silk woven by the spider to throw into the water and cash fish. The ball of silk when thrown into water spreads like a fishnet.

Is the Nephila pilipes spider bite dangerous?

The bites of these spiders are not poisonous, but if bitten they can cause certain irritations, redness, and rashes. There can also be feeling of dizziness and nausea due to the sting of the bite.

How do their webs work?

Their webs are yellowish in color which makes them look almost like gold. The webs weaved by the Nephila pilipes are huge and intricate. They are perfect to capture prey and being sticky and strong the webs don't let the prey escape.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods from our whip spider facts or the southern house spider facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable nephila pilipes coloring pages.

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