A common sight when walking in the forest, this is the spectacular, but rather frightening Giant golden orb-weaver spider, which are also commonly called giant wood spiders, or the bat-eating spider. Nephila pilipes is a species of the golden orb-web spider. "Orb" was previously used in English to mean “circular”, thus the English name of the group.
This is such an iconic animal here in Hong Kong, I am going to write about it over the next couple of days.
These spiders have eight similar eyes, and eight spiny legs. I, among others, call them bat-eating spiders for their large, very sticky and strong webs. I have seen pictures of bats, and even small birds (Japanese White Eyes) that have become caught and then prey for the largest of the spiders. They do have a nasty bite, but will attempt to escape, only biting as a last resort against predation.
(Nephila)Spiders are a genus of araneomorph spiders noted for the impressive webs they weave. Araneomorph spiders are distinguished by having fangs that oppose each other and cross in a pinching action, in contrast to the Mygalomorphae (tarantulas and their close kin), which have fangs that are nearly parallel in alignment.
The male is much smaller than the female, which is a form of sexual size dimorphism, which i will write about again soon.