Archive for October, 2022

Citizen science: Joro spiders

October 10, 2022 Leave a comment

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know I love recommending citizen science projects for gifted kids. This week, your kids can become citizen researchers for the University of Georgia’s Joro Spider Spotting Contest.

Joro spiders are native to Asia. They came to the United States in 2014. You can recognize them by their large size, bright coloring, and expansive webs, which may be in trees or between power lines.

Anytime a species is introduced to a new place, scientists want to know what effect it will have on the ecosystem. As part of their studies of the Joro spider, entomologists want to learn more about how many there are and how far they’ve spread geographically. Since the spiders are relatively easy to spot and recognize, it’s a perfect opportunity to call in citizen scientists.

To participate in the Joro Spider Spotting Contest, you’ll go out looking for spiders. If you see one, you’ll take a photo and submit it, either through the Joro Watch website or through the EddMAPs App, available on iOS or Android. You’ll report where you see Joro spiders, as well as where you look but don’t find any, as both of these are important for scientists to know. Visit for detailed instructions.

The Joro Spider Spotting Contest will run through Saturday, Oct. 15.

Categories: Enrichment