Hiker Reports First Joro Spider Sighting in Alabama

by Tia Bailey
Photo by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images

An invasive species has been spotted in Alabama. The Joro spider was reported by a man who saw one while hiking with his brother.

The spiders have been reproducing in large amounts in Georgia. They can grow up to several inches long, and are a nuisance. Thankfully, it’s mainly due to the amount of them. They don’t have a huge affect on the environment and could even be prey for other creatures.

The hiker, Mathew Guthrie, shared what happened.

“We almost ran into it,” Guthrie said. “I went to move the web and it was really thick, almost like fishing line or like a thread from clothing, but it was golden. And that kind of took us back a little bit. Then we looked at the spider, and we had never seen one like that before.

He then took photos of the spider and sent them over to AL.com. Guthrie shared that he has been hiking here many times and had never seen one of the spiders before this incident.

“We sat and watched it and tried to take pictures of it for maybe 20 minutes, because we just thought it was really cool,” Guthrie said. “I hate spiders, but I was like ‘That is neat.’”

Andy Davis, a research biologist at the University of Georgia who studies Joros, was sent the photos of the spider. He shared with the publication that the spider in the photo was a female.

“Basically, by the time the average person sees one, they’re already there, and they’ve been there for a while,” Davis said. “This one in the picture looks like a big fat female, which means she probably grew up here.”

The spiders have been spotted in Georgia the last few months, so it’s not surprising that they made it to Alabama.

Huge Banana Spiders Will Begin Laying Eggs

Banana spiders are preparing to lay a bunch of eggs across the southeast U.S.

Marianne Gauldin, a representative of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, spoke to Newsweek about this.

“In a deciduous or swampy woodland in Alabama or the Southeast at this time of year, you’re going to find large golden silk orb weavers about to enter the next stage of their life cycle,” Gauldin said. “When [banana spiders] hatch out in early spring they are very tiny. They spend all the spring months and early summer months growing and molting. And right about now, October, they’ve reached their full adult size and they are much more easy to notice.”

The female spiders can grow up to twelve times the size of the male spiders, totaling in at three inches long. The females are some of the largest spiders in the United States. Both are ready to mate now, so prepare for lots of babies.