Where Do Spiders Shoot Webs From?

Spiders build webs to capture prey and protect themselves. They may also use their webs as lining for their nests. Some use them as a signaling device to let others know where they are. Other spiders use them to travel the globe by ballooning.

Webs are constructed from silk threads that are usually doubled in strength. They can hold the web under tension for hours. A light breeze can pick up the thread and carry it to a new location. In fact, they can do so without spinning it.

Spiders produce silk throughout their lives. When they’re not in the mood to spin their web, they simply recycle the thread for use the next time they need it.

Spiders have a number of tricks for producing a snazzy web. One is the creation of a “spinneret,” which is an external extension of their silk glands. These spinnerets are tipped by spigots, which control the diameter of the emerging thread.

Another trick is catching the wind, which a spider can do with gusto. The silk thread can float along the breeze, but the spider will hang underneath it to keep it in place.

Male spiders have special appendages on their front limbs. Among other functions, these modified appendages are used to load sperm into their pedipalps. This is the spider equivalent of a turkey baster, which is a useful if not entirely practical use of such an appendage.

Another nifty spider feat is the creation of a funnel-web. Triangle spiders use tiny fibers to cover their webs.