T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Orbweb spider (Photos of webs)

This is a clip from Sir David Attenboroughs documentary called Life in the Undergrowth. In this episode of  The Silk Spinners (from which this clip is taken) he gives us a detailed view of the structure of a spiders web - more specifically the Orb Web Spider.

A spider web, spiderweb, spider's web or cobweb (from the obsolete word coppe, meaning "spider”) is a device built by a spider out of proteinaceous spider silk extruded from its spinnerets. Spider webs have existed for at least 140 million years, as witnessed in a rare find of Early Cretaceous amber from Sussex, southern England. Insects get trapped in spider webs, providing nutrition to the spider.

The main difference between spider webs and cobwebs is that spider webs are still in use, while cobwebs are webs that have been abandoned.

Orbweb webs on a hedge visable early morning with dew on them. (New Plymouth)

At night the orbweb spider hangs upside down in the centre of the web waiting for prey to fly into its web.

 


Beads of dew on the web 


A closeup photo of a dew covered section
  

Below is a photo of an untidy horizontal sheetweb  showing the difference.in structure. Photo after light shower.