Invasive Skydiving Spider Could Cover Entire East Coast, Study Says

(QUEEN CITY NEWS) – The “Joro spider,” an invasive East Asian spider, may soon spread across the entire East Coast, according to a University of Georgia study.

Researchers said the yellow, blue-black and red spiders that are about the size of a human palm tree arrived in the United States around 2013 and have been spreading their golden webs in the Southeast ever since.

The researchers compared the species to a close relative, the “golden silk spider,” which hasn’t spread beyond the southeast in the past 160 years.

Joro spiders may not be so confined, the study says. Research has shown that Joro spiders can survive a brief freeze better than their cousins.

Data suggests it can survive in colder climate beyond the southeastern states.

The scientists said the spiders do not appear to have any effect on local food webs or ecosystems and are not dangerous to humans, aside from a potential allergic reaction.

The researchers said that Joros could use their silk to carry them with the wind in what they called the “balloon”, allowing them to parachute to new places.

They could also hitch a ride on people or shipping containers, scientists have said.

If you live along the East Coast, keep an eye on the skies to see new neighbors ride a hot air balloon in a town near you.

About Raymond A. Bentley

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