Saturday, September 15, 2012

Spider Webs

Almost since i got my car ive had spider webs being made near the front door, last week finally found a spider which was removed, it got me thinking what a spider web is made from.

Spider webs or cobwebs (from the obsolete word coppe, meaning spider) are made from built by a spider out of proteinaceous (protein) spider silk extruded from its spinnerets .What spinnerets are, are glands located at the tip of a spiders abdomen

Each gland produces a thread for a special purpose – for example a trailed safety line, sticky silk for trapping prey or fine silk for wrapping it. Spiders use different gland types to produce different silks, and some spiders are capable of producing up to 8 different silks during their lifetime.

How most spider webs are made is first the spider lets out a fine adhesive thread hoping a faint breeze will move it across the gap the spider then will carefully walk along it and strengthen it with a second thread. This process is repeated until the thread is strong enough to support the rest of the web.

Spider webs are used to 2 main reasons one is to use to catch prey the other used to run along to catch their prey keeping their back legs firmly attached to the web as well as being protection from birds.

The stickiness you feel on the webs is droplets of glue as the webs are made. Spiders do not usually get stuck to their own webs cause they are able to spin both sticky and non-sticky types of silk, and are careful to travel across only non-sticky portions of the web.

After the web has been there for awhile the silk will lose its stickiness and become less inefficient at capturing prey. It is common then for spiders to eat their own web daily to recoup some of the energy used in spinning. with the silk proteins are recycled.

Ive tried to shorten alot of the information but you can read more here