How Spiders Make Webs

Spiders build webs to trap prey, to protect their homes, and for a variety of other purposes. They have several types of silk. Some are sticky and tensile, and others are smooth and stiff. The type of silk a spider uses depends on the purpose of the web.

Most spiders use wind to spin the threads of their webs. However, some species build their own nets under their bodies. Others build simple, round, sticky webs or even cast nets over their prey.

Orb-weaver spiders create their webs by using a sense of touch. A dragline silk foundation is laid out in the center of the web. Spiral threads then radiate out from the center. Each of the spirals is anchored to surrounding vegetation.

Sheet-web Builders build a funnel-shaped burrow made of silk that connects to other webs on the ground or underneath trees. Their webs catch insects that fall from the branches.

The Silk Glands on the spinnerets of spiders produce silk threads that can be smooth or sticky. Sticky silk traps prey and makes it easy for spiders to snag and kill it.

Webs also serve as an efficient way to gather food. A spider knows that other bugs are attracted to light sources, so it builds its web around windows, outside lights, and other objects. During daylight hours, a spider will use the wind to carry its silk filaments to nearby objects.

Another type of spider is a space-web spider, which builds a bowl of tangled silk threads that it attaches to the lower branches of trees. This allows the spider to detect the motion of a flying insect.

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