Golden Orb Spider in our garden

Golden Orb Spider in our garden

Before I moved to Costa Rica, I was terrified of Spiders and if I had seen a Golden Orb spider in the bathroom (or anywhere for that matter) I would have freaked out. I used to call Tom to remove the tiniest spider from anywhere within 10 metres of me… so now I’m feeling rather Indiana Jones, as in fearless (almost) when it comes to spiders.

Golden Orb Spider: look at that gorgeous body!

Golden Orb Spider: look at that gorgeous body!

I mean, I don’t really want a spider on my skin but I can now approach a tarantula without breaking out in a sweat. By the way, tarantulas here in the rainforest are really shy and very seldom seen… but that’s a story for another day.

Unlike tarantulas we see plenty of Golden Orb Spiders. They are prolific web spinners and can construct a large one overnight. Since we know that most guests are not keen on spiders we remove their webs from our guest houses but we often keep the webs around our house — they’re great mosquito catchers!

The Golden web of the Golden Orb Spider

The Golden web of the Golden Orb Spider

The Golden Orb spider is of course rather special, not because they’re gold themselves but because their web, when seen in sunlight is a bright golden colour. But that’s not the only reason. The silk of their web is the strongest natural fibre known to man — how cool is that?! If you take a few strands of silk from their web and twirl it into one strand with your fingers, it is very difficult to break. Currently being researched by Nasa the silk of the Golden Orb Spider could be used in all sorts of projects, even bridge building.

So nowadays when I see a Golden Orb spider around the garden I get up close and have a look rather than rushing away. They are harmless and very relaxed so for those of you who like to get up close and personal with spiders, feel free.

You might have seen a wonderful project on the web about a cape made from the silk of 1 million Golden orb spiders. This is what it looked like:

Golden Orb Spider Silk Cape made from the silk of 1 million spiders

Golden Orb Spider Silk Cape made from the silk of 1 million spiders

Spider silk cape – Golden silk orb-weaver – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I actually have a debt to pay the Golden Orb spider — thanks to their beauty, gentle nature and fascinating webs, I have quite lost my fear of spiders. So if you need to lose that fear too, you know where to come… Geckoes Lodge! Now there’s a marketing idea in there somewhere isn’t there?