smilepupIf House Bill 595, which has already passed the House, is enacted, North Carolina will become the second state in the nation to recognize an official state spider. South Carolina is the only state to do such a thing so far, giving the honor to the Carolina wolf spider upon the advice of a third-grader.

This bill would distinguish the Golden Silk Spider (click here for pictures), which is found in Southeastern states, Central America, the West Indies, and even South America down into Argentina. It is sometimes called a “banana spider.” North Carolina is at the northernmost end of its distribution.

But why? What sets this spider apart from all the other spiders in this state? To quote Hamlet, “What imports the nomination of this gentleman?

Among the bill’s rationales:

Whereas, the golden silk spider is known for its golden colored silk, which is used to create a large, finely meshed, sticky web, often three feet in diameter, that is placed in insect flight paths on the edge of woodlands; and

Whereas, the golden silk spider bites only if held or pinched, which typically produces only localized pain; and

Pardon me for a second, but EGAD.

Whereas, the golden silk spider preys on a wide variety of small- to medium-sized insects, including mosquitoes, flies, bees, wasps, moths, and butterflies; and

Whereas, golden silk spider females can grow up to three inches and are among the largest non-tarantula-like spiders in North America; and …

Whereas, during late fall, mature females produce at least two large egg sacs with several hundred eggs surrounded by a basket of curly yellow silk…

Frankly, I’m not fond of silly symbols and official state whatnots. That said:

  • if we are going to an adopt an official state thing
  • and part of that thing is that it produces “a basket of curly yellow…”
  • the very next word ought to be “fries”