Spiders are classified according to their way of life. Web-Spinning Spiders spin webs to trap insects because their
vision is not very good. They know when prey is trapped on their web by
detecting and reacting to the vibrations the line makes from their prey
moving and trying to get free. Hunting Spiders run after insects or lie in wait for them.
Some hunting spiders spin simple webs that stretch out along the ground to catch
insects. These spiders are grouped as hunters because they run after the insects that land in their webs.
Size, Shape and Purpose of Webs
Webs have different purposes, according to the individual species of spider, how it captures or stores its prey. Spider's silk can be used to help small, young spiders transport to new areas (ballooning) or be so strong that it is used to make fish nets, as with the Nephila spider web. Other types of spider webs and their silk discussed here:
A Spiders Web is made from silk. Spiders are the only animals that use silk in their daily lives.
Spiders have seven pairs of silk spinning organs or glands called “spinnerets”
located either in the middle or at the end of their abdomen. Each spinneret on the
spider is different from the other and used for making several
The silk is produced as a liquid, but emerges from the glands as solid silk fibers when the spider moves away from
the attachment point. A spider’s silk line is only .001-.004 mm thick.
Amino acids and protein crystals help the silk maintain its stretchiness, stiffness and strength.
Web-Spinning spiders only use the tips of their legs when creating their webs so that their body doesn’t come in contact with the web and get stuck. They use a middle claw and the bristles on their leg tips to hang onto a single thread that keeps them balanced until their web is fully made.
An Orb web is the most common type of spider web and looks like a wheel with spokes.
It consists of outer frame lines, radial or spoke-like lines and spiral lines.
The outer frame is made up of a bridge line and two anchor lines that come together to form an upside down triangle.
Three frame threads connect the corners together and from there spoke like lines
are made connecting all of the threads together.
Tangled Web Spiders
Tangled spider webs consist of a shapeless jumble of threads attached to a support such as the corner of a ceiling. Cobwebs are tangled webs that have collected dust and dirt. Cellar spiders, the comb-footed spiders (included black and brown widow spiders), the ogre-faced stick spiders and common house spiders are spiders that make these types of webs.
Sheet webs are flat sheets of silk between blades of grass or branches of shrubs or trees. Spiders that create sheet webs also spin a net of crisscrossed threads above the sheet.
When a flying insect hits the net, it bounces into the sheet web. The
Gum-footed webs consist of tightly woven silk strands attached between two branches.
The upper strands are dry and built in sheltered areas away from sunlight while the lower strands are built in exposed area and run down to a bottom branch where they are attached.
Each of the lower sticky strands are covered in sticky droplets and are attached weakly at the bottom.
When an insect walks into the sticky silk strands its struggle break the lines moving the web upwards and lifting the prey off the ground reducing its chances of escaping.
Horizontal Line Webs
Horizontal Line Webs are made up of one simple line of sticky droplets stretching across low vegetation, bark and leaf litter. Spiders that create this type of web pull the line taut by keeping the slack silk underneath them until an insect hits the line. When that happens, the loose silk whips along the line and tangles the prey. Cribellate spiders and other pea-sized spiders create these webs.
Bolas Spider Web
The Bolas Spider Web is a very simple web designed for their unique method of hunting.
In order to hunt and catch male moths, the bolas spider sits on a horizontal line and spins a single line with a sticky silk tip that dangles from its leg.
Triangle Webs are created in the shape of a triangle, hence its name.
The spider weaves silky strands of spokes and spirals that connect to all three strands.
The triangle spider waits at one end of the web for an insect to land.
When it does, the
Funnel Web spiders construct large, flat, horizontal webs of non-sticky silk with a funnel at one end in grassy areas.
The funnel is open at both ends so the spider can escape if necessary.
When the spider feels the vibration of is prey, it dashes out, bites the insect and carries it back to the funnel.
Nursery Web Spider
The Nursery Web spider is considered a hunting spider because it only builds a web when laying her eggs.
She carries her eggs in a silk sac close to her body until just before they hatch.
The egg sac is then attached to a leaf and a web is built around it.
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