Nephila clavata

Nephila clavata

Nephila clavata, also known as Jorō spider (in Japanese: ジョロウグモ / Jorō-gumo), is a member of golden orb-web spider. The spider can be found throughout Japan except Hokkaidō, in Korea, Taiwan and China. Due to the large size as well as the bright, unique colors of the species of the female Nephila, the spider is well-favored in Japan.

Nephila clavata pass winter as eggs and scatter as tiny larvae in the spring. The female's body size is 17-25 mm, while the male's is 7-10 mm.

The web of female Nephila can reach one meter in width; the yellow threads appear rich gold in sunlight. The adult female individual has stripes of yellow and dark blur blue, and adds red around the spinneret. In autumn, smaller male(s) come into the female's web for copulating. After mating the female spins an egg sack on a tree, laying 400 - 1500 eggs in one sack. The spiders' life cycle ends by late autumn or early winter.

Researchers at Shinshu University, Japan have succeeded in creating a silk thread that is stronger, softer and more durable than conventional silk by genetically modifying silkworms with Nephilia drag line genes. A Japanese manufacturer is already experimenting with the thread, and spider socks, stockings and even fishing lines are expected to appear on the market within a few years.

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Nephila clavata in folklore

Jorōgumo is a legendary creature of Japanese folklore. A Jorōgumo is a spider which can change its appearance to a beautiful woman. She attracts men, and once a man was trapped of her seduction, he will be tied up and will be eaten by her.

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