A large wicked spider from East Asia has made its way to the East Coast of the U.S and the species could spread far and wide.
The Joro spider was first spotted in the U.S. in the state of Georgia in 2021 and has since been spotted in South Carolina, according to an article published Tuesday by The Associated Press (AP). Experts expect the spider to spread throughout the East Coast.
The palm-sized joro spider — a harmless arachnid found in the southeastern U.S. — may soon colonize the East Coast after scientists reported that they had a higher chance of surviving a brief freeze.https://t.co/UJ5FOAzB2c
— NPR (@NPR) March 8, 2022
A study by researchers at the University of Georgia revealed that the Joro can survive in colder climates than related spiders, the AP reported. The Joro has roughly double the metabolism and a 77% higher heart rate compared to similar spiders.
“Just by looking at that, it looks like the Joros could probably survive throughout most of the Eastern seaboard here, which is pretty sobering,” study co-author Andy Davis said, according to the AP. (RELATED: Acid Spraying ‘Spider-Scorpion’ Found By National Park Workers)
Female Joro spiders can be as long as three inches across when fully extended, according to the AP, and are part red, yellow and blue. The species overall is known for creating very intricate spider web designs. Some residents feel unsettled by the spiders once unusual to the area, according to the AP.
The risk of the spider spreading through the movement of people is high, Benjamin Frick, an undergraduate researcher for the project noted, NPR reported.
“Anecdotally, right before we published this study, we got a report from a grad student at UGA who had accidentally transported one of these to Oklahoma,” Frick said, according to NPR.