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How would you like to run into this? The Joro spider may be migrating to the Midwest

joro spider.jpg
Wikipedia Commons
The Japanese Joro spider was discovered in Georgia between 2013-2015. It has since migrated to North and South Carolina and Tennessee and may go to the Midwest. Its leg span is 5" and its web is six to ten feet across.

University of Cincinnati Professor of Biological Science George Uetz, says climate change is one reason this invasive species is migrating.

It's a guessing game as to where the Japanese Joro spider will go next. It's already in Georgia, North and South Carolina and Tennessee, and it's itching to go north, thanks to climate change.

The colorful species has a five-inch leg span and weaves a web that is six- to 10-feet wide, leading some people to freak out.

“I think freaking out is just a natural response, especially when you run into it face-on or really close up,” says University of Cincinnati Professor of Biological Sciences George Uetz, Ph.d. “They are harmless. It’s important to know they’re not aggressive animals.”

Uetz says the Joro is not poisonous.

The Joro spider is here to stay

You might run into it if hiking in the woods. “Because these are spiders that will build in open spaces, like between trees and the like. People may run into them when they are walking, hiking or riding horseback,” he says.

They are unlikely to be inside a building.

Uetz points out the Joro does eat things you might not like, including other spiders and cicadas.

You have time to prepare. Uetz says it may be five years or more, if and when, the Joro travels to Greater Cincinnati.

George Uetz.PNG
University of Cincinnati
Dr. George Uetz teaches a class on spiders at UC

Ann Thompson has years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology