The yellow-web spider is the popular name for Nephila clavipes in Brazil. It also bears the name “Banana Spider” in some parts of the world, both due to its similar coloring and because it inhabits banana trees. However, there are some spiders that are similar to the yellow-web spider, but they are of totally different species, such as Argiope appensa, the Brazilian armadeira and those of the genus Cupiennus.
Part 1 of 4: Identifying Nephila clavipes
Step 1. Look at the color
Yellow web spiders usually have white, yellow or red abdomens in contrast to black or dark brown, while the legs are striped, with tufts of fur and with the tips pointed inwards.
Step 2. Know their size
The body of a female spider of this species can be 3, 8 to 7, 6 cm, while males generally do not reach 2.5 cm. The bodies are not bigger than the width, but the span of the legs can reach up to 15, 2 cm.
Step 3. Recognize the remarkable characteristics of the species
Nephila clavipes have irregular spots on the abdomen.
Step 4. Identify the webs
The web of these spiders can be easily identified due to their yellow or golden coloration, giving them the popular name of yellow-web spider. The webs can be more than 90 cm long and are usually found at eye level or above in forest areas or mangroves.
Step 5. Know where this species is present
Spiders of the Nephila genus (Nephila pilipes and clavides, among others), despite being venomous, are not a great threat to humans, as the venom is not strong. Spiders that make up this genus can be found practically all over the world, as in the following places:
- Africa and Madagascar.
- South America.
- North America (in the southern United States).
Part 2 of 4: Identifying Cupiennius Spiders
Step 1. Find out the natural habitat of the Cupiennius spiders
They have such a name because they are sometimes found in bunches of bananas shipped to North America and Europe, but they are native to Mexico, northwestern South America, and some Caribbean islands.
Although they do not pose a threat to humans, many people confuse this species with the Brazilian armadeiras (Phoneutria)
Step 2. Recognize them by size
The smallest species of this genus is about 6.3 mm, while females of larger types can reach up to 3.8 cm. Cupiennius spiders are small, although they are often confused with armadeiras.
Step 3. Note the color and characteristics for gender identification
Spiders of this type may have bright red hairs on the feet or mouth, as well as black spots in white regions on the lower part closer to the body.
Part 3 of 4: Identifying the traps
Step 1. Know where the gunboats live
Spiders of the Phoneutria genus are known in Brazil as armadeiras, being native to tropical areas of South America. However, there is one species that was found in Central America. Like those of the Cupiennius genus, armadeira spiders end up being called “banana spiders”, as they often lodge in shipments of bananas.
Gunships are very dangerous as they are one of the most venomous spiders in the world. However, there is an antivenom to treat your bites
Step 2. Identify them by size
Spiders of the Phoneutria genus have bodies of up to 5 cm, while the legs have a wingspan of up to 12 cm.
Step 3. Observe their coloration
Such spiders are usually brown and hairy, confused with those of the Cupiennius genus, as they can also have red hairs in the mouth region, in addition to a black spot on the abdomen.
Step 4. Recognize Notable Features
The armadeiras have their two front legs raised and move sideways – and that is why it is known as the crab-spider in some parts of Brazil.
Part 4 of 4: Identifying spiders of the genus Argiope apppensa
Step 1. Learn where Argiope apppensa spiders live
In English, they are known as “Hawaiian garden spiders”, or Hawaiian garden spiders, being predominant on the American island, but also native to Taiwan, Guam and New Guinea. They are not poisonous and they are not harmful to human beings.
Step 2. Identify the webs
The Argiope appensa spiders have very distinct webs, as they create a zigzag pattern and make them very consistent and thick.
Step 3. These spiders can be quite large, with a body measuring more than 5 cm
Step 4. Note the color and peculiar characteristics of the species
These spiders are also known as “banana spiders” – not because they live among bunches of bananas – because of their yellowish coloration, in addition to having star-shaped abdomens.