Went birding at a little park across from the beach the other day, but there were no birds to be seen. All I found was this Golden Silk Orb Weaver, hanging in front of me, its immense web stretched across the walking path. I’d never seen such gigantic spiders till I moved to Florida – I’ve since learned that these are actually quite common. Including the legs, this one was at least 4-5 inches across!
“GOLDEN SILK ORBWEAVER. These spiders spin large webs – sometimes three to four feet across! The females grow to one inch in length (body only, does not include legs) and can be seen hanging head down in the center of the web. Males are much smaller and usually hang out around the edges of the web. Golden silk orbweavers are not venomous.” (Source: Palm Beach County Natural Areas naturalareaguide.pdf)
For more info, click here: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/golden_silk_spider.htm