The giant wood spider (nephila maculata) can be found from Japan all the way down to Australia and West to India. In parts of Papua New Guinea tribespeople consider it a tasty snack. In Japan they’re called “O-jyorou gumo”, “gumo” meaning spider, “O” meaning big and “jyorou” meaning “femme fatale”. The large yellow spots under the legs are a distinguishing characteristic of this species.
- The Giant Wood Spider eats mostly small insects and sometimes part’s of dead animals. It catches its prey with its spider web and eats them after they are dead. The Giant Wood Spider grows between four and six inches long, and one through two inches wide. It is mainly black and has yellow spots on it.
- Not surprisingly, they’re the largest spiders in Japan. They might be big, but with their webs stretched to a diameter of one meter between the trees it would have been easy to accidentally walk straight into one as they sat in the middle of their web. It might be a furry little critter, but very few people would want to get that cuddly with it!
- It belongs to the golden orb weaver family, which is why its silk is yellow, and this silk is the strongest of any spider. The web is about a meter across, and sometimes small birds or bats get caught in it.
- They’re said to be docile but, yes, the spider is somewhat poisonous, and the bite’s said to be painful because of the size of the fangs.