Campus News

Spider researcher discusses the Joro spider’s new range

Richard Hoebeke, professional researcher in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences entomology department, spoke with Outsider about the growing range of the Joro spider.

This spider, called “Jorogumo” in Japanese, originated from East Asia, but has now spread to the Southeastern United States.

“It hitches a ride on some other vehicle coming into the states,” Hoebeke said. “Could have been a freight container. Could have been boxes. Any one of those sorts of things would certainly harbor an egg mass.”

They have the potential to spread excessively in the coming years, particularly because of the size of their eggs.

“Egg sacs contain a lot of eggs,” according to Hoebeke. “Anywhere between 400 to 1,500 eggs in an egg sac.”

Hoebeke assures readers that while there may be groups of Joro spiders in “the hundreds,” a bite would be rare, and a reaction far rarer.

“They’re here to stay. There’s no question,” he said.