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Spider Web Designs
updated: Mar 15, 2017, 11:47 AM

By Betsy J. Green

Foggy mornings are good for: Appreciating the artwork of our local spider folks. Does anyone know why some spiders spin symmetrical webs, while others are totally free form? Right-brain and left-brain spiders?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 DE-ESCALATE agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-15 12:10 PM

I don't know. But I remember reading about studies where the scientists gave various drugs to spiders, then tried to see how if affected their web designs. (who got that idea, how did they give drugs to spiders?). Google spider web and LSD, and there are lots of hits.


 COMMENT 763604 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-15 01:46 PM

the design of webs is mostly dictated by genetics. Orb weaver spiders are called that because they weave orb webs (like your first one) and cellar spiders (some call them daddy long legs) weave very erratic and odd looking webbing. Not all spiders make webs to catch prey. Some line their burrows, some make trap doors and live in holes in the ground, and some make funnel-webs to hide in. They're all pretty neat, and the structure of their webbing can often indicate what family or even species they belong to.


 COMMENT 763617 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-15 02:58 PM

I remember as a child hearing about a project aboard Skylab where they wanted to see how a spider spun a web in space without gravity. Here was the outcome: "The golden orb spider usually spins a three dimensional, asymmetric web on Earth, but in space they spin more circular webs."

Just thought I'd throw that out for fun!


 COMMENT 763622P agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-15 03:09 PM

The chaotically distorted webs indicate alternative-fact sites, usually venomous.


 COMMENT 763672 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-15 05:23 PM

The lower spider appears to have been drunk


 COMMENT 763683P agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-15 05:55 PM

What a great post. The answer(s) could fill books and books.

My personal favorites are the net-casting spiders. We don't have those in these parts, though.



 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-15 10:07 PM

Betsy, Thanks for asking and sharing photos because there are very interesting answers. Webs really do look nifty with water showing them off.


 COMMENT 763760 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-16 08:20 AM

Thank you 683P. That was a fascinating link. My first WOW of he day!


 COMMENT 763763P agree helpful negative off topic

2017-03-16 08:34 AM

This time of year, spiders are too weak or too old to repair their webs or make new ones with all the components of a perfect web, so one finds these partial webs/repairs.


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