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Joro Spider Sightings in New Jersey and How to Report Yours

Joro Spider Sightings in New Jersey and How to Report Yours
Joro Spider Sightings in New Jersey and How to Report Yours

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Good news, New Jersey! As of Thursday, no Joro spider sightings have been reported in the state.

The bad news… they’re still on the way.

Back in November, Dr. David Coyle, an entomologist at Clemson University, told NorthJersey.com that “as far as we know,” the Joro spider could be in New Jersey “next year.”

Data shows that the Joro will be able to colonize most of the eastern United States, and they have already spread to several states, so even though they are not here yet, the reality is that they are probably on their way.

Here’s everything you need to know about Joro spider sightings, how to identify them and how to report them.

Joro Spider Sightings in New Jersey

According to sighting maps on iNaturalist and Joro Watch, no sightings of Joro spiders have been reported in New Jersey as of July 11.

Where are the Joro spiders now?

Joro spiders are native to East Asia and are found in the United States primarily in Georgia, but there have also been sightings in South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma and West Virginia.

The closest sightings to New Jersey were reported in Howard County, Maryland, about 20 minutes outside of Baltimore.

I saw a Joro spider. How do I report it?

Reporting your Joro spider sightings can be extremely useful to scientists.

“If you want to help a little bit more, scientists could always use information about where these spiders are and how quickly they’re getting there,” Coyle said in a video on the Clemson Extension Forestry and Natural Resources YouTube channel. “Just take your phone, take a picture of one of these spiders and upload it to iNaturalist.org. That information goes into a database and helps us a lot in tracking where these non-native things are going.”

iNaturalist.org is a website that helps you identify plants and animals you find, while generating data for science and conservation.

Through the website or app, you can upload photos for identification, log your encounters, explore different species and their sightings around the world, and much more.

To report your sightings, you can create an account on iNaturalist, upload photos or audio files, identify the species, and submit your sighting. You can also track the Joro spider’s movements by going to the Explore section of the website, searching for the Joro spider, and viewing the map of reported sightings.

Another way to report your Joro spider sightings is to use JoroWatch.org, a monitoring program to collect data on Joro spiders. It was developed by the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia.

Visit jorowatch.org/report/ to report your Joro spider sightings. The website also features a map showing sightings across the country.

How to identify a Joro spider

Adult female Joro spiders are much easier to identify than males because they look very different.

Female Joro spiders are large, reaching up to 10 cm in length. According to Joro Watch, they are bright yellow with bluish-green horizontal stripes and a large red spot on the underside of their abdomen. Their legs are black with yellow-orange stripes.

The males are about a third the size of the females and can be seen in webs in the autumn.

Their webs can range from a few to twelve feet wide and are usually woven in circular patterns between things like trees or man-made structures.

Are Joro spiders dangerous?

Fortunately, there is no evidence to date that Joro spiders are dangerous to humans or pets, but they can be a nuisance.

If you see a Joro spider on your house or in your yard, Coyle says the best and easiest thing to do is simply move it.

“Spiders build their webs in convenient locations, so if you have a spider right here on the side of the house, it’s here because it likes this location,” Coyle said in the video. “The easiest thing to do is to take something like a broom and just take the web and the spider out and move it somewhere else.”

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