Golden Orb-Weaver

Now let's talk about architecture in nature...   Last February, when we went hiking in Costa Rica's rainforest, at one point we ran into a thread across our path. It was sticky and slightly elastic, but strong, because it did not break when we ran into it. It turned out to be part of a larger web, built by a golden orb-weaver.


Golden orb-weaver (Nephila) is known for the impressive webs it can weave. It has striped legs specialized for weaving with inward pointed tips. This spider can reach up to 5 cm, legspan not included. They are the oldest surviving genus of spiders.


This spider species is notorious for its "steel quality" of web threads. You could call them sort of architects of the jungle. The web is so solid it can even trap small birds. Because birds are not on its menu, often the golden orb-weaver installs some minor web constructions around the main web to protect it from unwanted "prey" flying into it and inadvertently destroying it. Just how cool is that for a spider ?