General Question

AstroChuck's avatar

How do spiders build webs that span several feet?

Asked by AstroChuck (37428points) September 30th, 2008 from iPhone

While delivering my mail route today I walked into a cobweb. This web spanned between two scrubs that were roughly 4 to 5 feet apart. How does a spider cover such a distance? Are spiders able to jump that far, or maybe shoot their web a great distance ala Spiderman?

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10 Answers

syz's avatar

The most typical scenario is that they release a free floating, lightweight strand that floats through the air until it connects with something. They then anchor both ends and proceed with the structure. If I remember correctly, spider silk is stronger than steel of the same diameter. They’re amazing creatures. There’s a very nice description here:

AstroChuck's avatar

I suppose that would be a good way to make a scaffolding. But there would have to be some kind of breeze. And what would they do with the scaffolding afterwards, eat it?

poofandmook's avatar

uuuuuugh spiders [shudder]

poofandmook's avatar

I’m not falling for it this time!!

AstroChuck's avatar

@syz- Great link! Thanks.
(The first one, I mean)

boffin's avatar

They hire contractors…..

osullivanbr's avatar


Again, sorry about that horrid trick of mine. Didn’t mean to traumatize you.
That second one is bloody horrible. It actually made me shudder.

pathfinder's avatar

The web can be realy thick so.The spider is more mobile.Some speeshes can jump long distance.For exampel African GIGAS use a jumps when he move or on the hunt.The another class of those jumping spiders are trees spideres from India.

SeventhSense's avatar

From The Spider site
“Spider silk is very strong and tough material. A thread with a radius of 3 cm can stop a Boeing 747 in full flight.”

I hope these guys never organize and get any ideas.

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