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I live in Charleston, SC, and found this very large spider chilling in a very large intricate web in our gazebo this evening. Below are all the pictures (apologize for the quality...it's the best I could do with my phone).

We live in the United States—Charleston, SC. The spider itself is brown with some lighter-brown markings. Its legs are light brown, with some brown/black bulges. It seems like there might be a baby spider in the corner. And this spider is quite large, and its web has pretty much taken over our gazebo.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

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  • That's unlikely to be a baby spider, but more likely a male. Baby spiders come later. :) – Greg Hewgill Aug 29 at 22:57
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So I also posted this question on reddit, and got back a response, which seems correct, so I figured I'd go ahead and post an answer (although my stepdad gets credit for guessing correctly before reddit).

This spider is most likely a Nephila clavipes (colloquially known as a banana spider): enter image description here

Per bugguide.net, females can grow up to 50 mm; males can grow up to 8 mm. The smaller spider is most likely a male (as noted by @GregHewgill), as they apparently like to chill out on the females' webs.

They're not dangerous to humans, as long as you don't “handle them roughly”. For now, we'll cede our gazebo to it.

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    Elsewhere in the world these are called Golden Orb Weaver spiders, but this covers a range of species within the genus. – bob1 Aug 30 at 1:37
  • Yup, in SoCal we call them Golden Orb Weavers. Very active with beautiful round webs in late summer into fall... – Jimmy Fix-it Aug 30 at 5:50

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