Dear PoPville – Crazy Spider in NoMa

Dear PoPville,

On Saturday I spotted what appears to be a massive Orb Weaver in the parking garage of the Harris Teeter in NoMa. It’s abdomen was a little bit smaller than a ping pong ball. Nobody was willing to get closer than 2 feet for fear that it might have jumping abilities…

32 Comment

  • Beautiful! Spiders are your friends because they kill bugs like mosquitos, roaches, etc. Just don’t touch them.

  • Looks like an orb weaver I had living outside my dorm window back in PA.

  • We have those everywhere in my hometown down in FL and we just called them garden spiders. Those and ‘banana’ spiders were the big boys.

    • Where in Florida? My dad loved the banana spider in his orchid garden until it got big enough to threaten small birds, then we took care of it.

  • No sense of scale! What a shame you didn’t hold a quarter up next to it! I would think that after growing up with all these great nature shows you could show more gumption. (A.P.=former Smithsonian Insect Zoo Volunteer)

  • anon. gardener

    Banana spider!! Okay, so banana spiders are a little more colorful, but hey, a big spider is a big spider. Creepy! I didn’t know these lived this far north. Banana spiders were the summertime terror of my childhood, along with jellyfish and snakes. Now I think they’re kind of cool. This one can come to my house and eat all the mosquitoes…

  • Looks like a black-and-yellow garden spider. We have about 6 of them scattered throughout our tiny backyard. They are harmless and make some cool webs, and eat lots of flies and mosquitoes. If her belly was that big, she’s probably about to lay eggs.

  • Common to the area, I’m told. Saw one in alley behind H street NE a few weeks ago.

  • im gonna puke im gonna puke im gonna puke

  • A sewing spider! these are awesome creatures, you should have taken her home with you to eat all the nasty bugs like mosquito s and flies 🙂

  • Stolen from Reddit:

    That’s just a writing spider. They’re harmless. They build huge elaborate webs, and eat all manner of pest insects. They don’t leave their webs, they don’t want to be in your house, and they don’t bite.

    To make sure that you don’t accidentally walk into their web, they put some visible zig-zags in the middle, so they’re easier to see. The spiders themselves are big and classy looking (at least the girls are…The guys are a lot smaller and more stealthy.)

    In a nutshell, they’re probably the nicest spiders that exist. Be nice to them.

  • I have a very similar (and just as massive) one living on my deck. I hibernates during the day, and is our there every. single. night. rebuilding/repairing its web. Unfortunately, it’s favorite spot is right next to the couch I have on my deck, which means I won’t sit on my deck after dark our of fear. On the plus side, I hope it has lots of babies to help put a dent in the terrible Petworth mosquito population…

    • anon. gardener

      They totally know what they’re doing. One summer a banana spider built its web over our driveway, with two trees on either side as the anchor. We had to walk under the web to get in the car. Terrifying.

  • Looks like the Afternoon Animal Fix is early today.

  • I blame gentrification.

  • I’ve noticed a huge increase in the number of spider webs in my garden and around the windows of the house over past summers. Anyone else have the same perception? Due to the mild winter?

  • I wonder what Brian Fellow would say about that big bug.

  • I was going to go shopping there tonight, but definitely not now! I don’t care if it is harmless. Freaks me out.

  • That looks like a zipper spider to me… I have pictures of another one and it would seem pictures of a golden orb-weaver/banana spider in Costa Rica. Googling seems to confirm the zipper spider theory.
    Regardless, spiders rock. And there are very few poisonous ones in the states.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Very cool. I like how it matches the yellow bit it’s walking on.

  • Ah yes, I’m familiar with this particular species of spee-ider …genus arachnus deathicus, if I’m not mistaken.

  • Is it on me is it on me is it on me?


  • Looks like a Gold Skulltula to me.

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