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buidontwantausername t1_iuvphgs wrote

Tangentially related to this subject are Social or Colony spiders. These all live communally in a large web complex constructed over time by many different members of the colony. So not all spiders exclusively make just their own web.


AmayaMaka5 t1_iuwh1vs wrote

You know I don't GENERALLY have a problem with spiders but for some reason the idea of colony spiders scares me.


Yeuph t1_iuxh174 wrote

Some colony spiders like the Bagheera kiplingi have pretty incredible societies - at least from a spider perspective. They even seem to have a learned culture that disappears if you remove them from their colony - in that they forget the cooperative methods they use having male spiders guard young spiderlings while mama goes for a snack; and it's not exclusive to their own children. They all just work cooperatively to make their mamosa plant host a safe place.

If you remove them from being raised around their colony they don't really exhibit the same cooperative behaviors - literally spider culture


Just_a_dick_online t1_iuwlfch wrote

Right? I always take comfort seeing one spider and thinking "Well he's probably territorial which means there are probably no more spiders around". The thought of one being a sign of more is just too much.


Alis451 t1_iuwtuma wrote

> Well he's probably territorial

most spiders you see are probably females, the males are generally smaller, more skittish and hide more.


aptom203 t1_iuxa3jy wrote

And tend to get eaten by females, sometimes after getting lucky, often not.


ctrlaltcreate t1_iuxjc6j wrote

Semi-off topic, but you should really watch Arachnophobia. Great movie.


notsurewhatsunique3 t1_iv09qc3 wrote

You should check out children of time by Adrian Tchaikovsky. It's a pretty interesting sci Fi book imo


charlesdexterward t1_iuwttdy wrote

Is that’s what’s happening when you see a tree that’s just completely covered in spider webs?


sphhere t1_iuxfsj9 wrote

Tent caterpillars are the usually ones that create that mess on trees! an adult moth lays eggs on a tree and when the caterpillars emerge they all build the tent as a colony for protection


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!


Primitive-Mind t1_iuwy41l wrote

Brookgreen Gardens, a park in SC, has a section in the wildlife preserve with a wooden barn. It’s really old and rotten, maybe 10’ x 20’ if memory serves, and at first glance from a distance all is kosher, but the closer you get you realize the entire inside is one gigantic spider web. Literally thousands of banana spiders, or golden silk orbweavers, which until then I had only ever seen going solo. Once your eyes adjust to the low light it is traumatizing even to someone who loves spiders.


Chihlidog t1_iuxgjkf wrote

I could have gone my entire life and been happy not knowing that. Now, because I have a short circuit in my brain, I want to see this. And I'm a severe arachnaphobe.


[deleted] t1_iv328xy wrote

Are there enough bugs in the barn for them to all eat and reproduce more generations. I’d assume the spiders would hunt all the food over time


LeviAEthan512 t1_iuvkpy4 wrote

I don't have a full answer, but webs are very calorically expensive, and most spiders will eat their webs to recycle the material if they have to leave or rebuild. It's almost pure protei

If a spider happened upon the web of a dead spider, I'd imagine it would either eat it or just move in if it's suitable.


insidemyvoice t1_iuxfd4w wrote

I've often wondered, if a spider gets knocked out of it's web or has it destroyed so that it can't be reabsorbed, does it still have enough internal material to make another web?


joleme t1_iuxljhd wrote

That's going to entirely vary from instance to instance. Did it eat recently, was it already starving, and so on. They can always generate more as long as the energy is there.


Geargarden t1_iux92t4 wrote

The Crack spider has been known to not only kill and take over another spider's web but also force nearby weaker spiders to be their mate be they female OR male. Very fascinating! This video tells you a little about the different kinds of spiders with unusual traits. It's a short watch and very informative!


KDM_Racing t1_iuyhgck wrote

This is what I came here looking for. Thank you


Beluga_Artist t1_iuy5c0d wrote

I’m pretty sure some tarantulas kept as pets sometimes benefit from being given a web created by another tarantula. Like that one animal is just old and doesn’t make them anymore but it’s a species or individual who was naturally super webby but they don’t make sufficient webs and seem more anxious because of it so the owner can put them in a container with a web made by another tarantula.


[deleted] t1_iuvmlnw wrote



Tsjernobull t1_iuw939e wrote

So is nest building in birds, but you still have species that lay eggs in others' nests