About This Animal
Nephila spiders are a group of spiders that includes some of the largest web-weaving spiders in the world. Golden silk spiders, also known as golden orb weavers, are black and yellowish-orange in color and named after the color of the silk they spin.
Females are much larger than males and can have body lengths of 2 inches and leg lengths of 6 inches. The females build orb webs with a circular structure that they live on. Males generally live on the webs of juvenile females.
Golden silk spiders mate in the late summer. Females then lay egg sacs attached to leaves, which they tie to twigs. Young spiders, or spiderlings, remain in the sac throughout the winter, emerging in the spring when warm weather or rainy seasons arrive. They stay together for about a week and disperse after that. They grow through molting—shedding their external skeletons.
There are 14 Nephila spider species on the IUCN Red List, and all are listed as being of Least Concern. However, some species do have decreasing populations due to habitat loss by deforestation.
Commitment to Care
Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.
Support Your Zoo
Animals Depend On People Too
When you ADOPT an animal, you support world-class animal care by helping to provide specially formulated diets, new habitat elements, and regular veterinary checkups.
The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy.
Take Action With Us
Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.