Scientists have warned that huge Joro spiders might soon invade the whole eastern coast of the United States.
The brilliantly coloured spiders are an invasive species that came in the United States from East Asia in 2013 and have since spread throughout Georgia.
According to a research published in the journal Physiological Entomology, the Joro spider might be predicted to spread beyond its present area in the southeastern United States due to several developed characteristics.
Joro spiders may grow to be 3 inches long and spin huge webs of golden or yellow silk. They are distinguished by brilliant yellow and black stripes on their legs and abdomens. The spiders utilise venom to capture and kill their prey, but they are not harmful to people.
Scientists believe the spiders were brought to the United States on ships and can be expected to spread beyond the southern states by human travel.
“The potential for these spiders to be disseminated through people’s motions is quite great,” research co-author Benjamin Frick of the University of Georgia’s Odum School of Ecology (UGA) stated in a statement. “Anecdotally, just before we published our study, we received a complaint from a UGA graduate student who had unintentionally carried one of them to Oklahoma.”
The researchers compared the Joro spider to a similar spider called the golden silk spider, which also dwells in the southern states after migrating from the tropics.
Despite some similarities, they discovered that Joro spiders had a metabolism twice as high as golden silk spiders and heart rates that are 77 percent quicker when exposed to cold temperatures. This implies they’ll be able to withstand the lower temperatures seen further north.
The researchers behind the study stated that the spiders were already endemic and recommended people not to kill them unnecessarily.
“People should strive to learn to live with them,” study author Andy Davis of the University of Georgia’s Odum School of Ecology said in a statement. “I can imagine tearing a web down and relocating them to the side if they’re truly in your way, but they’ll simply come back next year.”
Residents in Georgia have reported noticing a growing number of the webs recently, prompting experts to believe they are already spreading swiftly throughout the region.
Joro spiders are native to Japan and may be found across the country, which has a climate similar to the East Coast of the United States.
“Just by looking at it, it appears like the Joros could probably thrive over much of the Eastern Seaboard here,” Davis added.