May 22, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Large spiders from Asia colonize the American East Coast

Large spiders from Asia colonize the American East Coast

Large black and yellow spiders from Asia have spread across the US East Coast in recent years, but fear not, although they may seem scary, they are not dangerous and can also help the local ecosystem.

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Scientists have been studying the invaders since they arrived in Georgia in 2013, with bright red and dark blue hues.

Within a few years, large nets of Zorro spiders became common in the forests of the region. Knitted at the height of humans, they are more than a meter in diameter and also provide them as a kind of parachute to travel long distances due to air currents.

“The reason we started this project is because they literally fell on our laps,” Andy Davis of the University of Georgia told AFP. “They’ve been here pretty much everywhere in North Georgia. They’ve been all over my yard.”

Maybe came in a container or truck, they should now continue to emigrate to North America.

Researchers have tried to find out their presence in the United States. Patterns have also been observed in South and North Carolina, Tennessee and Oklahoma.

According to Mr. Davis, without any help, these spiders could take almost 20 years to reach the capital, Washington. Sometimes these little animals accidentally find car occupants and are transported over hundreds of kilometers so it probably happens too fast, he believes.

A study by Andy Davis and his colleague Ben Frick also listed the specifics of these spiders. They eat small insects (midges …) and can tolerate short periods of time. In general, those from Japan adapt to temperate climates.

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Call for forgiveness

Aggressive races are often associated with negative consequences in people’s minds. For example, the southeastern Lycorma delicatula landed in Pennsylvania in 2014 and destroyed fruit trees and other plants.

But according to Andy Davis, Zorro spiders need not worry.

He compared them to another species that landed in the United States 160 years ago from the tropics, the Golden Silk Spiders (Trichonophila clavips).

The latter are now “everywhere in the southeast [du pays]And do no harm, “the researcher explained.” They have been there for a long time, they have integrated themselves into the ecosystem and the Zoro spiders may be on the same trajectory. “

They can also be the meal of some carnivores such as lizards or birds.

They are not even dangerous to humans, underlines Andy Davis, he called for patience.

“I don’t really think Zorro spiders deserve to be crushed or killed,” he said. “They’re really not after us, and it’s not their fault they’re here.”