here are many different types of spider webs. Some of the most well-known types of spider webs include spiral orb webs (most common), tangle webs or cobwebs, woolly webs, sheet webs, funnel webs, and triangles.
Almost every type of spider has its own type of web, which is why it’s possible to distinguish between spider breeds just by looking at its web.
Some webs are regular and well-shaped, while others are highly irregular and not so well defined, making it slightly tougher to define the exact shape of the web.
Types of Spider Webs
Let’s take a look at the different types of spider webs and which spider species they belong to.
1. Orb Webs (Spiral Orb Webs)
An Orb Web. Photo: Pixabay
Spiral orb webs are very commonly found in gardens and outdoors where the family of spiders called Araneidae live. You’ll find them sitting in the middle of their orb webs during the day.
Among the most common species from this group of spiders is the garden orb weaving spider, and the group also includes:
- Garden Orb Weaver
- Silk Spider
- Bolas Spider
- Spiny Orb Weaver
This type of spider web looks regularly shaped and you’ll often find it between plants and leaves. It has a symmetrical shape, and the best way to describe it in simple terms is to compare it to a wheel with spokes.
When we think about spider webs and the different types of webs, this is probably the first type of webs most people think about.
The web is carefully crafted so that it can hold spider eggs in the middle and keep them protected from potential predators. But the web also plays the role of catching the victims, as the “spokes” of the web are covered with special sticky drops so that the victims cannot easily escape once they’re caught inside the web.
2. Tangled Webs (Cobwebs)
A Tangle of Cobwebs. Photo: Pixabay
Tangled webs, or cobwebs, should be a familiar sight if you have spiders in your home – and we’re not talking about spiders as pets, but rather the spiders you have in your home, such as domestic spiders.
These webs look very unorganized and don’t have a particular shape to them.
But this design is not a flawed design by any means – rather, it’s a very meticulously planned, maze-like design which is meant to confuse the victims and get them caught into the web, giving them a very slim chance of escape.
You’ll find these webs in corners and between objects of your home, particularly in hidden parts of your home where you don’t often clean up.
Indoors, these cobwebs might appear small, but in nature, these webs will extend for several feet. The aim there is to create a web that’s large enough to cover a big area and capture all of the insects and as many animals of prey as possible in an enclosed space.
3. Woolly Webs
Woolly webs are not a very common sight – that’s because they’re the creation of Desidae spiders, which is a family of intertidal spiders that lives mostly in South America, Australia, and parts of Asia.
Desidae live in coastal areas and often have their habitat far away from human civilization, which is why they’re harder to spot.
Woolly webs have a thicker type of consistency about them. They’re covered in special silk nanofibers which are electrostatically charged, which causes the target that gets caught inside the web to be stunned and paralyzed.
Amazing what nature is capable of producing, isn’t it?
4. Sheet Webs
The primary role of sheet webs is for capturing smaller insects like flies.
They’re essentially created as a flat surface that is meant to get the flies that are flying nearby, but there’s a catch (literally): these webs have a net above them, which aims to bounce the fly down into the web, causing it to get stuck.
These webs are created between sticks of grass and bushes, so they’re often found in lower areas of nature. They look like a smaller hammock that you might spot in the grass, and they’re also constantly repaired by spiders once they’re destroyed or damaged.
Spiders that create these webs will also constantly try and grow them as much as possible. In some areas where there’s not a lot of human disturbance, you might even see sheet webs covering an entire patch of grass.
5. Funnel Webs
A Funnel Web. Photo: Pixabay
Funnel webs are perhaps the most intricate and admirable web designs out there. They are large webs with horizontal lines of silk that can blow your mind when you see them for the first time.
As impressive as they look, they have several important roles to play for spiders that create them (Uloborid family).
The most important role of this type of web is to help the spider store and secure the eggs that it lays, so that other spiders or predators are not able to access them.
Another spider family that creates funnel webs is Agelenidae. They’re one of the most poisonous spiders in the world and they’re also sometimes known as the funnel weaving spiders, thanks to their ability to create these complex funnels.
Check out our List of Spiders that Create Funnel Webs.
They’re also fast runners, so they are capable of catching their prey by running, but they also sometimes use their web to do that.
6. Triangle Webs
Triangle webs also belong to the Uloborid family of spiders. As the name suggests, the shape of this web is triangular and the three corners of the web are connected by spokes, which forms a web that allows the animals of prey to get caught inside.
These spiders have to create these complex webs, or else they wouldn’t be able to catch other animals. They don’t have venom and this means that they have to rely on other techniques for hunting, including triangle webs.
The types of spider webs can tell us a lot about the species of spiders that create them. They’re marvels of nature, and it’s amazing to think how these small creatures can create such intricate and large creations. Of course, they’re not only about looking good, but they have important roles to play for spiders, making webs an indispensable tool that spiders use to survive.
But, it’s also interesting to note that not all spiders make webs, and in fact most spiders don’t!
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