Spiders are known for the webs that they spin. These webs can be found outside and in your home. Spider webs come in various shapes and sizes depending on the species. These arachnids have different motives for constructing webs. Check out a few reasons why spiders weave webs.
Spiders construct webs to help them catch food. Their sticky silk causes insects to get stuck in the web. Spiders will either stay on the web or hide near it waiting for their next meal. Their silk can also be used when hunting. Some spiders create nets and use these to catch their prey. These net-casting spiders wait for insects to walk by, and then lunge forward, wrapping the net around it.
Spider webs can be used for protection. When something walks on a web, vibrations are released that the spider can feel. This alerts the spider to danger as well as to potential food sources. Funnel web spiders create funnel tubes that lead to their burrow. It helps to conceal the entrance, which helps to keep the spider safe. These spiders often have a back entrance where they can sneak away.
Cover Egg Sacs
Female spiders also use silk to protect their eggs. They wrap their eggs in silk creating an egg sac. The complexity of this sac varies between species. They are designed to protect the eggs from predators and harsh weather. Once spiders wrap their eggs, some species hide the egg sac in their webs. Other spider species choose to carry the egg sac on their back.
Some spiders use their silk to travel. These spiders release strands of silk into the wind. When the breeze catches it, spiders release themselves into the air and float along. This process is known as ballooning or kiting. It’s more common in spiderlings because they are lighter. However, some smaller adult spiders are able to do this as well.
Spiders have another use for their webs. Tarantulas are known to create a molt mat. Before these spiders molt, they create a bed of silk. When they’re ready, they flip onto their back and begin molting. This molt mat gives them a comfy place to stay while molting, which is important because their bodies are fragile during this process.
It’s probably not a surprise that spiders use webs to catch prey. However, it’s not the only reason these arachnids weave webs. From travel to protection, spiders have found many uses for their silk. Were you surprised by any of these reasons? Let us know in the comments below!