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Why don't spiders get stuck in their own webs?


How do spiders manage to not get stuck in their own web? I see them walking in them all the time.

3448 day(s) ago

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bjones
Spiders don’t get stuck in their own webs because they walk very carefully through their own webs. They have no special resistance to the stickiness of their own webs. Many people will try to tell you that they make a special oil either on their legs or in their mouth, where it is then applied to their legs. This is only a myth and patently false. No species of spider in the world creates any kind of special oil.

Most spiders do not even create sticky webs, but those that do, make non-sticky and sticky strands. Some of the strands on the web, often the “spokes,” are made from the non-sticky variety of webbing. The sticky webbing is sticky because the spider deposits small globules of a sticky substance of the web. These globules are partially solid so they remain on the web in little balls. If a spider has to walk along the web, it just steps in-between the little “glue balls.” Even if the spider missteps and lands a foot in a sticky globule, it can free itself rather easily because each ball is not so strong on its own. It’s like us stepping on gum on a hot sidewalk. It’s really sticky, but it doesn’t immobilize us. When a fly, or other insect, flies into a web, it gets stuck to about 50 of the globules. This amount of glue is very strong and too much to get free of.

In addition to careful walking, spiders have also been found to have a special claw on the ends of their legs. Insects do not have this claw. It allows spiders to grasp on to a single thread of webbing. Insects trying to traverse the web must use more than one strand, increasing the amount of glue they come into contact with.




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