Floridian Nature

Learn about Florida's beautiful and unique nature.

Floridian Nature Videos
Welcome to our collection of Floridian Nature Videos. Our first video is an up close an personal look at a banana spider. Banana spiders are very common in Florida and found around woods and bushes. Also known as a golden orb weaver, the banana spider is a large looking creature that looks like it came from pre-historic times.  Our banana spider is being prodded by a piece of pine straw. Banana spiders can bite and they carry a similar venom as a black widow spider but in a much lower dose.

Just one of the many types of creepy spiders found in Florida nature, the golden orb weaver is a large orange and brown spider with the feathery tufts on its legs is well know to most native southerners. It is particularly despised by hikers and hunters, as during late summer and fall the large golden webs of this species make a sticky rap for the unwary. The female is distinctively colored, and is among the largest orb-weaving spiders in the country. The name of the golden silk orb-weavers refers to the color of the spider silk, not the color of the spider itself.
The cottontail is grayish-brown in color, has a distinctive white "powder puff" tail, measures 14 to 17 inches in length and weighs two to four pounds. The cottontail rabbit prefers a habitat of heavy brush, strips of forest, weed and briar patches, abandoned fields and fringe areas of cultivated fields. Periods of peak activity for cottontails occur in early morning and at night. Rabbits are strictly vegetarians with their main food being green plant parts during the warmer months. When green vegetation is not available, rabbits will eat young woody shoots and bark.

Eastern cottontails are solitary animals, and they tend to be intolerant of each other. Their home range is usually between 5 and 8 acres, increasing during the breeding season. Males generally have a larger home range than females. The eastern cottontail has keen senses of sight, smell and hearing. It is crepuscular and nocturnal, and is active all winter. . The cottontail sometimes checks the surroundings by standing on its hind legs with its forepaws tucked next to its chest. The cottontail is a quick runner and can reach speeds up to 18 miles per hour. Eastern cottontails are short-lived; most do not survive beyond their third year. Enemies include hawks, owls, foxes, coyotes, weasels and man.