Giant web woven by a variety of spider families

Scientists report that the massive 200-yard spider web recently discovered in Texas's Lake Tawakoni State Park was woven by spiders from many different species working collaboratively. Thousands of spiders have rebuilt the web three times after it's been torn up by rain and wind. Texas A&M University entomologist Allen Dean has identified spiders from such families as funnel web weavers, sac spiders, orb weavers, mesh web weavers, wolf spiders, pirate spiders, and others working on the web. From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (photo from Tx. Parks & Wildlife Dept.):
 Spdest Findadest Parks Lake Tawakoni Media Images Web 600X450 The motive may well be food, researchers say. The larger the web, the more flies and bugs get stuck, providing an abundant food supply for the spiders.

"Spiders generally are cannibalistic and keep their webs distinct," Dean said. "We're not sure what started the initial webbing ... but there probably have been thousands of spiders working on the web.

"With the amount of rain that has occurred this year and the huge food supply available, it just created the right condition for all of this."
Link to Star-Telegram, Link to Texas Entomology site about the web

Previously on BB:
• Massive spider web Link


  1. …others working on the Web.

    Would that be the World Wide Web?

    Seriously, that is one web I wouldn’t want to be caught in!

  2. That is making me think of the scariest part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and how much I hate spiders. I actually gasped at the picture and backed away from my computer. Ick.

  3. Are they telling us that we should put our differences behind us and unite?


    “So long and thanks for all the flies…”

  4. What we fear most has come to pass: The Spiders are working together. How long before they develop new technologies? How long can we be expected to hold out against United Spiders with Laser Eyes?!?!

  5. Looks like they’re getting ready to take over the world. I hear that, in preparation for this day, they’ve been keeping track of who kills them and who doesn’t.

  6. Man, I would -love- to see that (and wow, I had no idea that there were such things as pirate spidarrrrrs! The universe gets more delightful by the day!)

  7. It’s not as bad as it looks- of the seven families named in the linked Seattle Times article, only three build webs, 3 are cursorial hunters, and one (the pirate spiders) are obligate spider predators who hunt web-building spiders on their own webs.

    In late summer/early fall one could easily collect 12 families of spiders from a clump of trees like that, ginormo spider condo or no.

    I haven’t heard anything about ecologists observing the spiders’ behavior yet. When someone observes an orb-weaver and a funnel-weaver and a sac spider sharing prey- that’s when humanity is doomed.

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