|female with two males in Tokyo, Japan|
Trichonephila clavata, also known as the Jorō spider (ジョロウグモ（女郎蜘蛛、上臈蜘蛛）, Jorō-gumo), is a member of the golden orb-web spider genus. The spider can be found throughout Japan except Hokkaidō, in Korea, Taiwan, China, and more recently, northeast Georgia in North America. Due to the large size as well as the bright, unique colors of the female Trichonephila, the spider is well-favored in Japan.
Recently, scientists have confirmed the first known occurrence of Trichonephila clavata in North America.
Trichonephila clavata pass winter as eggs and scatter as tiny juveniles in the spring. The adult female's body size is 17–25 mm, while the male's is 7–10 mm.
The web of female Trichonephila can reach one meter in length; the yellow threads appear rich gold in sunlight. The structure of the web seen in cross-section is unusual for an orb web; it has 3 layers: the central orb, plus 2 irregular layers in front and behind the orb.
The adult female individual has stripes of yellow and dark blue, with red towards the rear of the abdomen. In autumn, smaller male(s) may be seen in the female's web for copulating. After mating the female spins an egg sack on a tree, laying 400 - 1500 eggs in one sack. The life cycle ends by late autumn or early winter.
Researchers, led by Masao Nakagaki, at Shinshu University, Japan have succeeded in creating a silk thread that is stronger, softer and more durable than conventional silk by injecting silkworm eggs with genes of the spider. The silkworms that hatch weave cocoons containing 10% spider protein. The dragline silk is said to have many uses, such as: bulletproof vests, sutures after an operation, tennis rackets, fishing line, and nets. A Japanese manufacturer named Okamoto had begun developing commercial applications for the spider silk, and planned to release extra-thin, durable spider socks by year 2010.
Jorōgumo is a legendary creature in Japanese folklore. A Jorōgumo is a spider which can change its appearance into that of a beautiful woman. She seeks men to seduce, whom she then binds in her silk and devours.
- "Taxon details Trichonephila clavata (L. Koch, 1878)". World Spider Catalog. Natural History Museum Bern. Retrieved 2017-05-14.
- Hoebeke ER, Huffmaster W, Freeman BJ (2015-02-05). "Trichonephila clavata L Koch, the Joro Spider of East Asia, newly recorded from North America (Araneae: Nephilidae)". PeerJ. 3: e763. doi:10.7717/peerj.763. PMC 4327315. PMID 25699210. Lay summary – SciGuru.
- Shearer L. "Madison County man captures spider never before seen in North America". Athens Banner. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
- Drake N (2015-03-19). "Asian "Fortune-Teller" Spider Found in U.S. for First Time". National Geographic. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
- Kuntner, Matjaz; Hamilton, Chris; Cheng, Ren-Chung; Gregorič, Matjaž; et al. (2019). "Golden Orbweavers Ignore Biological Rules: Phylogenomic and Comparative Analyses Unravel a Complex Evolution of Sexual Size Dimorphism" (PDF). Systematic Biology. 68 (1147): 1–20. doi:10.1093/sysbio/syy082.
- "Silk Socks, a New Biotech Product". The Silkworm Blog. 10 December 2007.
- "Soon, socks and bulletproof vests made from spider silk". Thaindian News. 12 October 2007.
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