These fabulous predators being “on the wing” at this time of the year. Spiders do not have wings, of course, but they can fly for many miles; it’s called Ballooning.
There are many examples of them flying in jet streams, thousands of feet off the ground, across water, seas, oceans; Each year we get the juveniles of those huge Australia Golden Orb-Weaving Spiders in NZ – they grow up to become huge Australian Golden Orb-Weaving Spiders and frighten the life out of New Zealanders.
At this time of the year, look up on a fine, sunny almost wind-still day and see what’s floating past!!
Spider silk glands have liquid proteins called spidroins, they're actually kinda gooey and are pressed out gently to form silk; it’s strong, yet light and flexible – a fabulous building material that serves many purposes
We all know about the famous “websites” that spiders make to catch flying prey.
Take the kids outside on a dew-laden morning to find those webs and see if you can find the owner nearby. Those webs have sticky and non-sticky strands of silk, so the spider can walk on them without getting stuck themselves.
New Zealand’s famous nursery web spiders build quite elaborate constructions in gorse bushes and long grasses: white nests, with - deep inside – a small silken ball with hundreds of eggs.
That nest alone is made of 5 or 6 different types of silk. Even the one spider most people love to hate (Daddy Longlegs in the corner of your ceiling!) has a clever trick with silk: it can hold a few dozen eggs in its mandibles with just one strand of silk.
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