Wee cow'rin tim'rous beasties of Taiwan

I was out tromping in the hills above Laiyi two weeks ago and saw quite a few of these spiders, this little lovely being one of the larger specimens. He/she is probably 4-6" in diameter, but the photo doesn’t convey a very good sense of scale.
Any entomolgists in the audience tonight who can give me a quick species id and vital stats for this thing? Is it harmless?

She. “He” is much smaller and is either cowering in a corner somewhere or has already been eaten (by her).

with those colors they sure look poisonous.

I think its name is Nephila pilipes. We have loads of them in Daken, they really are beautiful, but a do look scary. They are called “old man face”, because the coloring on the back resembles…you can guess the rest. The one in the photo is a female as the males are much smaller (7-10mm), and red in color. They have the most beautiful webs with really thick silk and can be huge (200cm diameter). It’s Taiwan’s biggest spider.

What do they taste like?

:astonished: 200 cm? Please tell me that this is a typing error. I saw some of them in the hills around here too. :noway: If they really get that big (of course just if they get tasty expats as food) I will never ever go out there.

I think they meant that the webs can get up to 200cm, not the spider, would hate to hit one of those tearing down hill on a bike though. :astonished:

Sorry pal,
you can’t tell from the picture, but this thing is definitely in the 200cm diameter range. Don’t let it crawl into your body armor! However, all of the webs I saw on my little romp were well above head height, which suggests to me that they must have been frequently interrupted by passers-by.
By the way, JC, is this thing poisonous? She’s got fangs like little fishhooks.

Hello, it’s not a guy and its’s not a him.

At least you got it right the third time.

All fixed, smarty pants:
No need to go splittin’ hares now!

Thanks, Johnny Crisp.
I googled nephila pilipes and then confirmed your id while hiking on New Year’s day. Turns out that this spider is rather harmless despite a fearsome appearance.