These days, almost everyone has had a run-in with a Joro spider. Whether it is seeing their giant yellow bodies hanging from a window or seeing them floating through the sky on their DIY web parachutes, there are few people who do not know what a Joro spider is.
These gentle giants originate from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China and don’t pose any threats other than the occasional jump scare when you see their massive webs or long legs. In fact, in a recent research study conducted by the University of Georgia’s Odum School of Ecology, researchers found that most spiders freeze for less than a minute when a disturbance is introduced to their environment but Joro spiders stay frozen for more than an hour.
Turns out, Joros are harmless to pets and humans. Their usual behavior shows that they do not bite unless cornered and even when they do bite, their fangs are too small to actually pierce human skin.
While their fangs are not built to affect humans, Joro spiders themselves are built to withstand human activity. Their massive golden webs are commonly found between powerlines, at gas station pumps, and on top of stoplights. These normally busy spots do not affect the Joro’s activity as expected. They experience many distributions and are generally slow to resume their normal behavior after experiencing noise, vibrations, or visual stimuli – a strategy that researchers think may help the Joros save energy.
Researchers say that Joro spiders are outpacing native species, not because they are affecting their ways of life but because they are simply outbreeding other kinds of spiders. For this reason and because they are so adapted to living with humans, one of the UGA researchers said “that they’re probably not going away anytime soon.”