Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Asian fortune-teller spider discovered in America

March 23, 2015

Chuck Bednar for redOrbit.com – @BednarChuck

Researchers from the University of Georgia and Georgia Museum of Natural History have for the first time found a creature known as the East Asian Joro spider or Asian fortune-teller spider in North America, according to a new study appearing in the journal PeerJ.

In addition to its unique nickname, the Joro spider (Nephila clavata) is best known for producing strong golden silk, according to National Geographic. It is a member of a group of spiders known as golden orb-web weavers found in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world.

Thanks a lot, Asia!
One member of this arachnid group, the banana spider, is native to the southeastern US, but the Joro spider is normally found only in Japan, Korea, China, and Taiwan. Scientists believe that it likely found its way to the US on shipping vessels, and that it may have been here for years.

The Joro spider is similar in size to the banana spider but it has a distinctive color scheme, which includes black legs with yellow-orange stripes and a bright yellow body with bluish-green stripes on its back and red markings on its underside. It was originally discovered by a Georgia resident by the name of Wesley Huffmaster, who brought it to the attention of scientists at UGA.


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