107 Million Spiders Create Megaweb

If you are deathly afraid of spiders, do no read any further!

If you want to sleep tonight, do not read any further!

If you have a heart condition or health concerns of any kind, do not read any further!

If you want a glimpse of what Hell might look like, go ahead and scroll a down a little. You may feel a little itchy afterward!

107 Million Spiders Create Megaweb

WebSource: Entomological Society of America/ Greene et al. 2010

How many spiders would you consider to be a lot? For many of you, it might be just one. For the rest of us, there’s no arguing that 107 million spiders, is more than a lot! It’s a butt-load.

A huge communal spider web, that stretched over four acres, was recently reported by Wired.com, inside a water treatment plant in Baltimore. This megaweb, housed some 107 Million spiders. It was estimated that almost 95% of the treatment plant was covered by this megaweb; something that shocked even scientists.

“We were unprepared for the sheer scale of the spider population and the extraordinary masses of both three dimensional and sheet-like webbing that blanketed much of the facility’s cavernous interior. Far greater in magnitude than any previously recorded aggregation of orb-weavers, the visual impact of the spectacle was nothing less than astonishing.

In places where the plant workers had swept aside the webbing to access equipment, the silk lay piled on the floor in rope-like clumps as thick as a fire hose.”

Wow! You know that this is quite the impressive spider web, if even tenured scientists were shocked at the sheer magnitude and grandeur of it!!

megaweb

Megawebs

These megawebs have been reported before here in the U.S., all of which have occurred near water. These massive webs are cast to catch the large quantities of flies and midges that hatch and live near water.

With these megawebs, I found it interesting that they are typically made my multiple species of spider, that co-habitate together for the purpose of catching the massive quantities of flying insects.

Two of the species of spider that are responsible for creating these megaweb masterpieces include the longjawed orb-weaver, and the bridge spider or gray cross spider (also a species of orb-weaver).

Spiders And The City

Black_Widow_Spider_Black_BackgroundAccording to the last U.S. Census, 80.7 percent of this County’s population live in urban areas. As Americans, many of us love the energy of a big city; the abundance and variety of restaurants, jobs, stores, and even people.

New research from the University of Sydney suggests, that we’re not the only ones who prefer city living. Spiders that live in urban areas are showing to be healthier, and even more fertile.

Spiders Thrive In Cities

A new study suggests that spiders in the city seem to thrive in comparison to their counterparts in more rural areas. Australian scientists examined golden orb weaver spiders living in cities near the coast, and discovered that these spiders grow larger and reproduce more frequently in urban city environments.

What’s even more fascinating is that female orb weaver spiders living in the city have bigger ovaries for hosting bigger eggs, and lots more of them. This increases the success of producing more, and healthier, offspring.

Spiders And The City: Advantages Of City Living

There are several reasons researches believe spiders not only prefer living in the city, but thrive in these areas:

  1. Cities are warmer. With all the asphalt and concrete within a city, it’s scientifically proven that they tend to be warmer. Asphalt and concrete have the ability to absorb and retain the heat from the sun more effectively. In these higher temperature areas, the spiders have more energy to put toward feeding and reproduction.
  1. Urban affluence. One thing scientists found fascinating is that the more upscale a neighborhood, the more the spiders thrived. These more affluent areas, that had city parks and suburbs, were better taken care of. These areas had healthier patches of vegetation which increased the abundance of prey. More food equates to healthier, fatter spiders.
  1. Cities have more artificial lights. Artificial lights attract bugs. Anybody with a porch light can attest to that. City lights attract more bugs for spiders to feast on in a concentrated area.
  1. Less competition. Spiders found in rural areas tend to build larger webs. This allows for other spider species to zip in and steal and captured insect more easily. In cities, you don’t see this thievery as often because the thieves have fewer places to hide.

Spiders

Spiders are very common pests. There are 40,000 different species of spiders in the world, and some 3,000 are found in North America. They are found on all continents except Antarctica, and scientists predict that only half of the world’s spiders have been discovered.