I am terrified of spiders, even the small ones. There is something about them which makes my hair stand and feel generally uncomfortable. However, I am particularly fearful of the hugely popular tarantulas and the commonly seen Golden Orb-Web Spider (Nephila pilipes). The latter belongs to the family Araneidae and females can grow to a size of 30 to 50mm. They are distributed mainly in Asia as well as Papua New Guinea and Australia.
The Golden Orb- Web Spider is commonly found in Singapore's primary and secondary forests and gardens. We used to run into them and their giant orb-shaped webs all the time during national service, particularly when navigating or bashing through the forest on exercise. Not a pleasant feeling as the web is particularly sticky and quite a pain to remove.
This spider can bite. And while the venom of the golden silk orb-weaver is potent, it is not lethal to humans. It has a neurotoxic effect similar to that of the black widow spider; however, its venom is not nearly as powerful. The bite causes local pain, redness, and blisters that normally disappear within a 24-hour interval. In rare cases, it might trigger allergic reactions and result in respiratory troubles (in asthmatics) or fast-acting involuntary muscle cramps. As the genus possesses relatively strong chelicera, the bite could leave a scar on hard tissue (such as fingers).
*All images taken with Canon 7D and Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM Zoom lens*