In part, the silk thread weave patterns of a Female Golden Silk Orb-Weaver spider’s web. (Spider family found in Northern Australian known as Nephila pilipes) Photo taken early morning at home, near Innisfail, Far North Queensland, Australia.
Handheld Pentax K-5 II s Lens DA* 50-135 1/4s @ f/2.8, ISO 100, FL.135mm Raw file processed/edited via CS2.
“Orb webs have developed as an efficient means of capturing flying insects. Their structure provides a unique combination of large capture area with near invisibility, making detection and avoidance difficult, especially at night. Only when the web is covered with dew is it clearly visible. Orb webs also need relatively little silk to build and they can be completed quickly. This is important because, while Nephila webs are ‘semi-permanent’ (repaired before being taken down and re-made), many nocturnal orb weavers, such as Eriophora, destroy and eat (recycle) their webs toward dawn and must rebuild them each night. This recycling process is very efficient as it returns the silk protein to the silk glands to make new silk.”
“It takes an orb weaver about 30 to 45 minutes to make its orb web. Air currents are used to waft the initial silk line extruded from the silk spinning organs (spinnerets) across a gap in the foliage to entangle in leaves or twigs on the other side. The spider moves back and forth across this bridge line, strengthening it by laying down more silk. It then drops from the bridge line’s centre to attach a vertical line to the ground. This provides the basic Y shaped framework to which are then added supporting outer frame-lines, and the radial lines (the ‘spokes’) on which the spiral lines are laid. A non-sticky, temporary spiral line is laid down first, starting from the centre and running outwards. This temporary spiral gives the spider a ‘scaffolding’ from which it then lays down the more closely spaced, permanent, sticky spiral, starting from the periphery toward the centre or hub. The spider removes and rolls up the temporary spiral as it lays down the sticky spiral. The excess silk is eaten and recycled.”