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Is that yellow spider a Joro spider?

You’ve heard of the parachuting spiders. You know they’re black and yellow in color. And suddenly you spot a yellow spider outside of your home. Could that be Joro spider? How can you tell? 

Proper identification is key in all realms of pest control, and while Joro spiders cause little harm to humans, it is good to understand the difference between these spiders and those that look like them.

Yellow spider on web

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Joro spider vs. banana spider vs. yellow garden spider

Many Joro spider sightings are often just similar-looking yellow spiders. Joro spiders are commonly confused with golden silk orb weavers, also known as banana spiders, and yellow garden spiders. These three spiders all share similar characteristics but definitely have some differences. 

Though all three are primarily yellow and black in color, Joro spiders have a red mark on their underbodies. These spiders also differ in their size, where they are found, web size and structure, and more. Below is a quick reference chart for their differences, but we’ll break these down into more detail in the rest of this post.

Comparison chart for banana spiders, joro spiders, and yellow garden spider

How do yellow spiders differ in size?

All three yellow spiders are roughly the same size ranging from ¾” to 2”. The Joro spider’s body is the average size between the three of them at only 1”, whereas the body of the yellow garden spider is the largest and can get up to 2”. The leg span of these spiders makes them appear much larger and scarier than the average spider. Coming in at the largest, a banana spider’s leg span is between 4-5”. The Joro and yellow garden spiders are a little smaller ranging from three to four inches.

Fun Fact: The males of all three species are not only significantly smaller, but they are also primarily brown with only a little color. 

Large black and yellow joro spider on web

Where are yellow spiders found?

These yellow spiders vary in location so understanding where each of them is found and comes from will help you identify which type of spider is outside of your home.

  • Joro spiders are not native to the United States, but they have made their way to Georgia and South Carolina. They are originally from Japan and East Asia.

  • In the United States, banana spiders are found mostly in the country’s southeastern part. Worldwide they are found in Africa, Asia, and Australia.

  • Yellow garden spiders are found all throughout the United States except in Alaska. They are also commonly found in Mexico, Southern Canada, and Central America.

Large yellow banana spider waiting for prey in the center of its web.

Does each yellow spider have a different web structures?

Actually, yes, but they all are unfortunately quite large. Coming in at ten feet wide, the Joro spider spins the largest web of the three yellow spiders. A banana spider’s web can get up to three feet wide and a yellow garden spider can spin a web up to two feet wide. 

Aside from the size, a good way to tell a yellow garden spider’s web from the other two is the zig-zag pattern at the center of the web.

Close up of a colorful golden orb spider outside spinning its distinctive web

Are these spiders harmful to humans?

What happens when most people see a spider? Immediate fear, probably accompanied by some itching and wondering, “Did it bite me?!” 

The good news is that, though scary to see, all three spiders are not harmful to humans. Yellow garden spiders and banana spiders both can bite but rarely do. These two spiders may bite if they are startled or out of self-defense. Their venom is non-toxic to humans and a bite may only leave the area a little sore or swollen. A Joro spider won’t do any harm, as its fangs are too small to bite human skin.

Massive Joro spider weaves a 3D web outside of a home.

Do all yellow spiders ‘parachute’?

Unfortunately, yes. But it’s not as bad as you are thinking. These spiders will balloon or ‘parachute’ to relocate their babies. Once the baby spiderlings hatch, they will use their web to parachute to another area.

Though startling to run into, yellow spiders are relatively harmless to humans. If you are curious about spider control for your home or business, the experts of Ehrlich can help! And, if you have any more questions about these fascinating spiders, contact us or message us on Facebook.

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