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Amazing Natural Engineers

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
19,604
22,706
The Misty Mountains
We have a Spiny Orb Weaver that has taken up residence above our front foundation shrubs (in Texas). Not only is the web large, I'm amazed that it extends up to a tree, about 7' above. Fortunately this web is out of the way and in a perfect location to catch plentiful stealth mosquitos. How does it evaluate a good spot for building? How good does it see for such evaluation? Does this mean it had to climb that tree and descend down?

Mostly I'm impressed with the precision this web is being constructed. The radials are all precise. It (gender unknown) cycles around the radial threads, pulls the radial up to attach the cross thread it's currently laying, then moves to the next radial. I tried to take a picture, but it was too small and the thread too fine to be seen by my iPhone.

I also wonder how spiders exist around the world that have this web building in their DNA. Are they all of common descent, (how did they spread?) or did they develop this talent independently? Btw, the web my SOW is building is much more professional than the examples below. ;)



 
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Apple fanboy

macrumors Westmere
Feb 21, 2012
40,199
30,195
Behind the Lens, UK
We have a Spiny Orb Weaver that has taken up residence above our front foundation shrubs (in Texas). Not only is the web large, I'm amazed that it extends up to a tree, about 15' above. Fortunately this web is out of the way and in a perfect location to catch plentiful stealth mosquitos. Does this mean it had to climb that tree and descend down? Mostly I'm impressed with the precision this web is being constructed. The radials are all precise. It (gender unknown) cycles around the radial threads, pulls the radial up to attach the cross thread it's currently laying, then moves to the next radial. I tried to take a picture, but it was too small and the thread too fine to be seen by my iPhone.

I also wonder how spiders exist around the world that have this web building in their DNA. Are they all of common descent, (how did they spread?) or did they develop this talent independently? Btw, the web my SOW is building is much more professional than the examples below. ;)



If you want to photograph it, get up early when there is a bit of moisture still showing. Or you can cheat if you have a fine demist sprayer in the house. That's what pro's do.
And yes they are clever aren't they. I just wish they wouldn't keep coming into the house, as my wife and daughter are both terrified of them. I come home to find plastic cups strategically placed.
 
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Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
19,604
22,706
The Misty Mountains
If you want to photograph it, get up early when there is a bit of moisture still showing. Or you can cheat if you have a fine demist sprayer in the house. That's what pro's do.
And yes they are clever aren't they. I just wish they wouldn't keep coming into the house, as my wife and daughter are both terrified of them. I come home to find plastic cups strategically placed.

I'll try that, thanks! Lizards and spiders found in my house are gently evicted. Centipedes and roaches that rarely elude the perimeter chemical defenses meet a sudden end or an exiting water ride! ;) Sometimes I discover a Green Anole mummy in a corner. :(

 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
53,672
36,928
The Far Horizon
If you want to photograph it, get up early when there is a bit of moisture still showing. Or you can cheat if you have a fine demist sprayer in the house. That's what pro's do.
And yes they are clever aren't they. I just wish they wouldn't keep coming into the house, as my wife and daughter are both terrified of them. I come home to find plastic cups strategically placed.

Or, after a summer shower of rain - the outlines of the web will clearly be etched in droplets of water.
 
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Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
19,604
22,706
The Misty Mountains
Still trying to get a picture... First when word got out we were a spider friendly zone, a second Spiney Orb Weaver appeared with an adjacent web, but then we had a common deluge of rain which took the webs down. As we left for the airport to head to Minnesota, I noticed the architects were back at work. Will check progress when we get back. :)
 
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Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
53,672
36,928
The Far Horizon
Still trying to get a picture... First when word got out we were a spider friendly zone, a second Spiney Orb Weaver appeared with an adjacent web, but then we had a common deluge of rain which took the webs down. As we left for the airport to head to Minnesota, I noticed the architects were back at work. Will check progress when we get back. :)

Shortly after dawn, twilight, any time where sunny weather also allows for the development of mists or fogs…..ice, indeed, too - ice-rimmed webs can be spectacular (though not, obviously, at this time of year) can all allow for excellent high-lighting of webs and web construction.

Good luck with it.
 
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