Trichonephila clavipes, the Golden silk spider;
Volusia county, Florida (11 July 2015).
Locally, we called these “banana spiders” when I was a kid in the late 70s and early 80s. Golden silk spiders (also known as Golden silk orbweavers) are fairly large and have a tendency to build their vast webs over path clearings. Many a time as a kid did I take a Golden silk orbweaver (and its accompanying web) to the face as I raced around Ormond Beach bike trails pretending I was Luke on an Endor speeder. For all the inadvertent contact I’ve had with this species, I’ve never been bitten once. It’s simply not an overtly reactive species. I think 1983-Janson was far more freakish and spastic than any Golden silk orbweaver I’ve ever encountered.