Science Main Index
Spiders can produce silken thread using spinneret glands on their abdomen. This thread is very strong. It is stronger than a similar size thread of steel. Spiders use this silken thread for many things. A spider will spin a web to protect the entrance of their home from birds or wasps. A web is also used to catch insects or other food. The thread is sticky, and once an insect touches the web, it gets caught. Vibration of the web tells the spider an insect has flown or crawled into the web. The spider will then wrap its prey in silken thread so it can't escape. The thread is also be used to attach an egg sack to the web. This protects the eggs until the young are born. Sometimes a web is used as a path between places where it is difficult to crawl. There are many different shaped spider webs. Some spiders spin a circular web, or orb web. Other webs look like funnels or tubes. Some webs look like a sheet. Play the following videos to learn more about spider webs.