Millions of joro spiders could soon begin “ballooning” across most of the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. Joro spiders are striped yellow, black, blue, and red and can harness their silks to ride the wind to new places.
New research from the University of Georgia suggests the invasive arachnids possess a heart rate 77 per cent higher than its relative species the golden silk spider, and can survive freezing temperatures. These spiders have the capacity to spread beyond southeastern United States and colonize the East Coast.
Joro spiders have already colonized most of their native Japan, and they have spread rapidly in the state of Georgia. It’s not just the arachnids’ ability to parachute into new areas that help them spread, but they are also aided by human movement, according to one of the study’s researchers Benjamin Frick.
The palm-sized joro spider — a harmless arachnid found in the southeastern U.S. — may soon colonize the East Coast after scientists reported that they had a higher chance of surviving a brief freeze.https://t.co/uRIxsIOvPI
— NPR (@NPR) March 5, 2022
According to the study’s author, Andy Davis, the joro spider have little impact on local ecosystems and present no danger to humans and pets.
“People should try to learn to live with them,” Davis told UGA Today. “If they’re literally in your way, I can see taking a web down and moving them to the side, but they’re just going to be back next year.”
Good news is rare and to be celebrated wherever it's found these days. So let's tip our hats to the fact that, despite everything going on, at least "the spider's fangs are virtually incapable of breaking human skin."https://t.co/5HCIJTMyk4
— Eric Roston (@eroston) March 8, 2022
Joro spiders are named for Jorōgumo, a yokai or Japanese spirit that manifests itself as a shapeshifting spider. They are believed to have first arrived in North America around 2013 and likely migrated from their native Japan via shipping containers.