Golden Silk Orb Weaver - "Banana Spider"
Nephila clavipes
females as large as 50 mm
males as large as 8 mm

These are very nice photos of an orb weaver that is not found in Utah but Chris Calkins was nice enough to let me
post them on my site.
Chris took the photos when she was living in South Carolina. She now lives in Layton,
  The size difference in the male and female of this species is phenomenal, as you will see below:

banana spider

backside of Nephila clavipes
Female back side.

male and female banana spider
Tiny male approaching the female for mating possibility.  He could mate or, unfortunately, be eaten.
Male spiders usually have a sequence of tapping they do with their front legs that soothes or
hypnotizes the female so they can approach them.

male and female mating Golden Silk Orb Weaver
 How cool is this photo--a mating pair! The Golden Silk Orb Weaver spins a web that has a golden cast to it, hence
the name of the spider.  It is the only species of this genus in the Western Hemisphere (according to
and is only found in the Southeastern US.  When disturbed, it will vibrate in its web and you can see a video
  of this, taken by Chris, on Youtube.  Read more about this spider on  © Chris Calkins, Layton, Utah

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