Tuesday, August 19, 2014

American grass spider

Along the driveway of our house we have a patch of lilies of the valley and these days they are covered in silk webs.
I am a scientist which means that I am always curious. Today I had a closer look at those webs and the animals that constructed them. The webs look very interesting  as they have a funnel shelter leading into a curled leaf. That way the builders saved time and energy to build a shelter solely with silk. 

Sure thing, by now you must have figured out who the builders are - correct - those were spiders. More particularly, grass spiders with the scientific name Agelenopsis actuosa, also known as the Canadian funnel-web spider. 

These little guys are totally harmless unless you are an insect they'd like to eat. While other web building spiders build a very sticky web in which their prey is caught as soon as it touches the web. The web of the grass spider is not sticky and the only way the spider can catch insects is to be very fast.

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