While many people think that all types of spiders weave webs, it’s really not true. Spiders who weave webs are just one group among all the different kinds of spiders. They weave their webs to catch insects to eat. They never get caught in their own web and can walk across it unscathed.
One of the differences between the hunter spider and the web weaver spider is that the spiders who create webs to catch their food have very bad eyesight. So, instead of jumping on their prey or chasing them, they build a web and wait for the food to come to them. Different types of spiders make all different kinds of webs. Like other spiders, they can live in the house or any structure, or outside, in trees, shrubs, under boards, or anywhere a web can be spun from one corner of a hard surface to another.
Cellar spiders are found in cellars, of course, but also in any dark, cool, empty space in any building. Their webs look tangled and many times they are mistaken for daddy longs legs because of their similar leg length.
There are types of spiders known as comb-footed spiders who weave a web that looks like a sheet of silk.
Black widow spiders are comb-footed; they have a row of hairs (or comb) on their fourth pair of legs that is designed to throw a liquid silk over any insect who wanders into their web to kill it.
There are funnel-web spiders and sheet-web spiders. The funnel-web spiders weave a web with a funnel bottom and a large sheet-looking top. The spider sits in the funnel until an insect gets caught in the web. If you have ever been outside in the early morning as the sun comes up and glistens off grass, trees and bushes, you have probably seen sheet webs shining on the top of grass or stretching from one plant to another. Unless they are taken apart by humans, these webs can stay in the same place for a whole season. Every time an insect lands on the web, the spider pulls it through the web and repairs the hole.
Orb weavers are spiders who weave webs in open areas outside. They might be found between tree branches or flowers, and these webs are the most intricately weaved of all. The spider catches the insect much like we might catch a fish. The spider will lie out of sight, holding onto one strand or line of web. When it vibrates, the spider knows that something has landed on the web and rushes out to catch it. It is much the same as just letting your fishing line hang in the water until you feel or see the pole move as the fish grabs the bait.
A Few Quick Spider Facts
Spiders lay eggs to reproduce. There can be a dozen or several dozen eggs. The female weaves a little silken sac around the eggs and places them in an out-of-the-way place where she thinks they will not be disturbed. Some spiders carry the sac on their bodies until the baby spiders are born. At birth the little spiders immediately take off, scattering about to find a spot of their own on which to cling and build their first web. Outdoor spiders are often carried by the wind and make their home wherever they land–sometimes far away from their original location.
** Female spiders are generally larger than male spiders. Some females even eat male spiders.
** Spiders can have either six or eight eyes, depending on the species.
** Most spiders do not live more than a year but there are tarantulas in captivity who have lived to be over twenty years old.
** Spiders provide a great service to man by controlling insects which can carry disease and destroy crops.