Kinds of Spiders
WOLF SPIDERS are common, hairy spiders. They are fast runners, good at chasing their prey.
Charlotte and her babies were ORB WEAVERS, the spiders who weave the most beautiful, complicated webs, usually in open areas between branches or stems. When an insect flies by, it gets tangled in the web. The spider feels the vibrations, either by sitting in the middle of the web or on a nearby branch attached to the web by a trap line, and comes in to eat her prey.
TANGLED-WEB WEAVERS spin simple webs made from a jumble of threads attached to a support. These are the kinds that we find in attics and cellars. When these webs get dusty, we call them cobwebs. One interesting tangled-web weaver is the Black Widow Spider. This species has a comb of hairs on its fourth pair of legs that it uses to throw liquid silk over an insect to entrap it.
SHEET-WEB WEAVERS weave flat sheets of silk between grasses or branches, and then crisscross threads above the sheet to form a net. When a flying insect hits the net, it falls into the sheet web. The spider, hiding beneath, runs in for the kill.
Choose a kind of spider. With some string or yarn, use your fingers as spinnerets to build a web. Spiders have a big advantage over us people; some of their silk glands produce sticky wet silk that can stick the ends of their web to branches, walls, and other objects. We have to use glue. Take a picture of some of your favorite webs and send it to us!