In The Know with Gino: Southern Adventist University is Looking for Help Spotting Invasive Spider in Local Area

Joro Spider Trichonephila Clavata 50564813031Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

CHATTANOOGA, TN- Southern Adventist University biology professor David Nelsen is calling on the public to help him with his research on Jorō spiders. These spiders, also known as the Japanese garden spider, are commonly found in North America and are easily recognizable by their distinctive yellow and black markings.

Professor Nelsen is particularly interested in tracking the population of Jorō spiders, as they have been known to exhibit variations in their appearance and behavior in different regions. By studying the spiders in different areas, Nelsen hopes to better understand their genetic makeup and how they have adapted to their environments.

In 2021, there were four sightings of the arachnid in the Chattanooga area, including one on Southern’s campus. Last year, sightings increased to approximately 20, along with the presence of males, which suggests a stable breeding population.

To aid in his research, Nelsen is asking the public to report any sightings of Jorō spiders they come across. Nelsen encourages anyone who spots a Jorō spider to take a photo of the spider and note the location, date, and time of the sighting. If you spot what appears to be a Jorō spider, email Nelsen at

Jorō spiders are harmless and pose no threat to humans, so there is no need to fear them. He hopes that by enlisting the help of the public, he can gather more data on these fascinating creatures and gain a better understanding of their behavior and ecology. With your help, Nelsen hopes to shed new light on the fascinating world of Jorō spiders.

SOURCE: Chattanooga Pulse