Wood spider, a specialty food in the forests of south-central Vietnam

During the rainy season people go into the forests of Binh Thuan Province in Vietnam's south-central coast to turn these black spiders with yellow stripes into a delicious dish.


The wood spider, whose scientific name is Nephila pilipes, has six legs, a black body with yellow stripes on its back and yellow spots on its belly. The male’s stripes are not as bright as the female’s and also has a tinge of pink.

The spiders proliferate during the rainy season between May and the beginning of August. They weave their webs on tree branches at the height of a person’s head or slightly higher.

The adults are roughly the size of a human thumb. People with experience only need a dry twig to get them down.

Cooking this dish is simple. If there is no pot or pan, cooks skewer the spiders on a stick and roast them over charcoal. The spiders taste better if roasted with fish sauce or salt. Its rich and buttery taste, and a little bit of silk, make this dish unique.

The dish is even more fantastic when it is served with rice wine.