I'm here to tell you that the one thing Joro flying parachute spiders have in common with shark attacks is that both of these stories have been blown way out of proportion.

We all reported on it. The Asian Joro flying spider is expected to make it as far north as New York State this summer. News stations and newspapers reported this story a few weeks ago everywhere from New York City and Boston to Syracuse and Utica. It turns out, the story is completely exaggerated.

It's a story that's similar to shark attacks. Every spring and summer we see all of these shark attack stories, only discover that the number of shark attacks in the U.S. each year total only about 16, and on average, one person dies about every two years.

When it comes to the spider, there's no evidence that these parachute spiders will make it to New York-New Jersey, and even less evidence that they'll make it to Upstate NY.

So far, the Joro spider has been spotted in South Carolina and Georgia. And the professor who was quoted in all of the stories, Dr. David Coyle, has clarified that the spider has reached the southeastern U.S..

PIX 11 in New York City recently reached out to "Cornell University Department of Entomology. Dr. Linda Susan Rayor, a senior lecturer and senior research associate who also wrote about the Joro spider, and said the species will not be in New York this summer “unless people move them.”

“They are extremely unlikely to get to this area for a decade, if they do at all,” said Dr. Rayor.


By the way, there have been 20 unprovoked shark attacks in New York State since 1837, according to the Florida Museum’s International Shark Attack File, a database of all known shark attacks, according to the New York Times.

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