Edible Golden Silk Spider

The Edible Golden Silk Spider (Nephila edulis) also known as the Golden Silk Orb-weaver, is a species of spider that occurs widely in Australia in both tropical and temperate regions. It is also found in parts of New Guinea and New Caledonia. It is not understood why this particular species is considered edible, however, it is a delicacy in New Guinea, where it is plucked from the web and lightly roasted over open fire. The species was first collected in 1799 byJacques Labillardiere, in Relation du Voyage à la Recherche de la Pérouse.

The body is large and the female can reach a body length of about 0.9 inches. The male is much smaller and reaches a body length of no more than 0.23 inches. It is black above with a white pattern on the back, and a yellow underside. The abdomen is gray to brown. The web is about 39 inches in diameter and protected on one or both sides by a strong barrier web. Breeding takes place from February to May and the female produces an average of 380 eggs.

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