Banana Spider Facts & Information
Banana spider is a common name that often creates confusion since some species of banana spiders are extremely venomous and others have only a slightly painful bite. For example, the Brazilian wandering banana spiders, genus Phoneutria, are among the most venomous spiders on Earth and its bite can be deadly to humans, especially children. Fortunately, this spider species is exceptionally infrequently encountered in the U.S. Spiders possessing the common name banana spiders found in the U.S. are able to bite, but their bite is not as harmful or painful as bites from other spiders, like the brown recluse or black widow spider. A banana spider bite is usually less painful than a bee sting and usually doesn’t cause further symptoms. Banana spiders are predators that generally prey upon insects such as flies, beetles, and dragonflies, so they are not likely to bite unless given no other way to defend themselves.
Spiders mistakenly called banana spiders found in the U.S. are generally large, brightly colored and can grow up to about two inches in size, not including leg span. Banana spiders create very large, intricate webs. A spider mistakenly called a banana spider in many parts of the U.S., the Golden Orb spider, is one of the largest web weavers in the United States. Coloration varies; however, the Golden Orb spider is a combination of red, yellow, and black. The name “Golden Orb” does not come from their body coloration but from the color of the silk produced for their webs. It is believed that the yellow/golden color of this silk is defense since the coloration makes it difficult to see in open, sunny areas. These spiders are more often found in the southeastern parts of the U.S. where the weather is generally warmer.