BLOGGER CONCERNED ABOUT THREAT TO HUMMINGBIRDS POSED BY JORO SPIDER

       Recently I received a post from one of our fellow bloggers that lives in the Athens area voicing concern that spiders might pose a threat to hummingbirds.  In response to her communication, I have tried to uncover any reports of hummingbirds being caught in the large, sticky webs constructed by Joro spiders. 

       For those of you that that are not familiar with the Joro spider, this large spider is native to Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China.  It first appeared in the United States in Hoschton, Georgia in 2013.

       This long-legged foreign invader has spread rapidly and is now weaving their large, sticky webs in at last 25 counties in North Georgia.  The spider has also been found in nearby South Carolina.

       Experts tell us that Joro spiders do not eat birds.  However, it is well known that hummingbirds are caught in the webs fashioned by a variety of native spiders.  In such cases, unless an unfortunate hummingbird can break free or rescued, it dies of either from starvation or dehydration.

       To date, I have not found any documentation of a hummingbird being caught in a Joro spider web.  However, that does not necessarily mean that this does not occur.  If you have seen and perhaps photographed such an event, please let me know.

SPIDER-JORO-2-Dorothy-Kozlowski-UGA-Sept-2021

       Since the joro spider has not been in the country very long, experts are unable to determine the impact, if any; this spider is going to have on native animals. In the meantime, Richard Hoebeke, an entomologist and curation with the Georgia Museum of Natural History, offers this advice, “Spiders are beneficial, they are feeding on insects that a log of people consider pests, yellow jackets, stink bugs, mosquitoes, other insects that people don’t want to see around the house, they would be happy to have them in their webs. And a lot of them do end up in their webs.  So, I consider them beneficial, I would just simply leave them alone. Don’t get in their way. Don’t aggregate them.  Just let them be.”

       For more information on the Joro spider, go to Search on the right side of this Blog and type in either Joro spider or Spider alert.

2 thoughts on “BLOGGER CONCERNED ABOUT THREAT TO HUMMINGBIRDS POSED BY JORO SPIDER

  1. Hi, Terry! I currently live in McDonough/Henry County. I have been seeing Joro Sliders around my yard for approximately three years now. They look quite intimidating, but they are fascinating as well. They are rather intelligent (or strategic) as they only weave their webs in my giant lantana bushes–and almost always in the same general spots. I have not seen any hummers get caught up in the webs–and hope I never do; however, my hummers frequently feed on my lantana bushes. It feels like it’s only a matter of time before I see one become trapped. Any suggestions as to whether or not I should free them from the webs webs? Thank you!

  2. I would definitely free any hummingbirds you find caught in a web. I have done so with hummers caught in garden spider nests. Believe me it is a task to clean the birds’ wings of the web. It would also be a good idea to feed the cleaned birds before they are released.

    Terry

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