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HyroDaily t1_iuw02i8 wrote

Argyrodes-Dewdrop Spider

They can spin their own webs, but tend to invade and reside in their hosts' webs.[2]

There are some other sorta-examples, but I'm a bit fuzzy minded atm. There is one that tends to build a web attached to smaller orb webs, can't remember the name, but there was little/conflicting information written about them when i looked, however I have observed myself that this tends to be their default behavior, although haven't been able to determine why.

To push a bit further into the lack of source realm, I observed a jumping spider in VA come across an abandoned web, (3", orb-type, close to a wooden rail) ball it up and appear to digest it. I do not know if this was to restock web chemicals or perhaps there was small food I could not see stuck there. I know spiders redigest webs, but after that wondered if at all or how common eating other species abandoned webs was. Different species have different combinations of web material, so surely there would be some incompatible combinations?


newappeal t1_iuw8fxa wrote

> Different species have different combinations of web material, so surely there would be some incompatible combinations?

"Redigesting webs" would almost certainly involve catabolizing web proteins down to their component amino acids, absorbing those nutrients like those from any other source, and then re-synthesizing new web proteins. Therefore, interspecies differences in web composition wouldn't prevent a spider from digesting and remobilizing nutrients from another spider's web, as long as it could digest the web components in the first place.


ElegantEpitome t1_iuysb6k wrote

There’s a lot of big words in there sir. I’m gonna nod along and hope I understand what you’re saying properly


newappeal t1_iv0pel7 wrote

Not sure if you're actually asking for a simplified explanation, but here's one anyway:

Spider webs are made up of complicated parts, and different spiders use different parts. When a spider eats another spider's web, it breaks the complicated parts (big molecules) into simple ones (small molecules) that it can use to rebuild its own web parts. This is exactly how our own bodies process the food we eat.

It's like how you couldn't build one model of car using only fully assembled parts from a different model of car, but if you disassembled all the parts and melted down and recast the metal, you could make virtually any car.


danceoftheplants t1_iuw2itb wrote

This is really interesting! I didn't know that about the redigesting webs.


HyroDaily t1_iuw3r4h wrote

It isn't universal, perhaps due to the type of silk. I always see abandoned sheet webs for example. From Biology Of Spiders, I read that the webs are pretty high energy internally to make, and so it is efficient to recycle them. As far as the jumper example goes, that is total conjecture based off of 1 observation, so anyways, I'm just an enthusiast, so feel free to check my work, haha. Kinda hoping the main question gets answered more by some pros!


prairiepanda t1_iuyo3zo wrote

I've never seen a jumping spider eat its own web (although a jumping spider's web hammock is quite different from the silk used by or weavers), but twice I have seen them collect the webs of other spiders and create dirt wads with them. I assumed they were just cleaning up their territory. Jumpers seem to be averse to walking on the sticky trap-type webs of other spiders.


waylandsmith t1_iuxtzui wrote

Many spiders (particularly orb-weavers) ingest and re-build their webs daily.


danceoftheplants t1_iuy7xiq wrote

That's really cool to learn. I've never sat and watched a spider for a long time.. next time I find a web outside I'm gonna take a closer look!