Most of us think that spiders use silk only to spin a web. Actually, no other animal uses silk in as many ways as spiders do. They make it into houses, lifelines, diving bells, cocoons, “airplanes”, lassos, spring traps, and the web we all know.
Spiders are not insects but belong to a Species called “arachnid”. Unlike insects, they have eight legs, eight eyes in most cases, no wings, and only two parts to their bodies. Spiders are found in practically every kind of climate. They can run on the ground, climbing plants, run on water, and even live in water.
The spider manufactures its silk in certain glands found in the abdomen, or belly. At the tip of the abdomen, there are spinning organs that contain many tiny holes. The silk is forced through these tiny holes. When the silk comes out it is a liquid. As soon as it comes into contact with the air, it becomes solid.
The spider makes many different kinds of silk. It makes a sticky kind that is used for the web because this catches insects. For the spokes of the web, it makes stronger silk, which is not sticky. And it makes a still different kind of silk for the cocoon.
Even the webs that spiders spin is of many different kinds. The wheel-like web is the one we see most often. There are also “sheet” webs, which are flat and shaped like funnels or domes. And the trap-door spiders make a burrow out of their web with a lidlike opening at the top to catch and hold their prey. Other spiders build a bell-shaped home of silk that is entirely underwater!
How long does it take for a spider to make a web?
It takes about one hour for a spider to make a web.