How spiders anchor their webs

Date:28 November 2016 Author: Nikky Knijf Tags:, ,

Have you ever wondered how spiders shoot and anchor the very first silk thread – called a bridging line – to start off their webs? Well as it happens, you’re not the only one to have wondered this. The Smithsonian recently answered a reader’s question about this, and believe it or not, the answer is quite simple.

Spiders don’t shoot their webs. Instead they release their silk threads and wait for the breeze to catch it and and drag it to another point. The spider will then walk across the thread and start weaving its web.

The Darwin’s Bark spider endemic to Madagascar is capable of creating a bridging line of up to 25 metres. These are some of the longest anchor lines ever found. And what makes it more impressive, is that the female Darwin’s Bark spider has a body length of between 18 and 22 millimetres. It’s a very small spider with an incredible web.

Now you might ask how a spider – especially one as small as the Darwin’s Bark spider – can manage to produce 25 metres of silk so quickly? Well, scientists are still baffled. In the video above the BBC shows this incredible feat in action. Be sure to check it out.

Source: Smithsonian

Video credit: BBC