News

Levee banks save spiders as well as human population

IT SEEMS spiders have learned the levee banks that saved Clarence Valley towns in the recent floods can do the same for them.

Spiders escaping the rising floodwaters have left their telltale sign, sheets of spidery silk all over the banks.

After recent floods the webs have been spotted at Carrs Creek and covering the gravestones at Tucabia Cemetery.

Research at the time, aided by readers, revealed some of the techniques spiders adopted once they realised a flood was upon them.

The Australian Museum reported: "Those that do not drown let out streamers of silk to catch the breeze so they might get blown onto obstructions like overhanging branches or shrubs emerging from the water.

"As these get covered in webs they become even more attractive as refuges from the waters.

"The result you get is this attractive phenomenon of web-covered bushes and trees.

"Overseas this is sometimes referred to as 'Angel's Hair', but is more usually caused by thousands of baby spiders dispersing from their hatching sites in the same way by releasing a streamer of silk and letting the breeze carry them to a new destination.

"This process of dispersal is known as ballooning."

Topics:  levee banks, spiders



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