February 1, 2015
Most spiders secrete sticky silk from large glands. The glands of the Uloborus, on the other hand, are very small. The silk they emit is also different. It comes out in an almost liquid state and solidifies, forming a very fine silk with the appearance of wool threads. The spider also has hairs on its legs with which it combs these strands as they come out of its abdomen.
The process has just been detailed for the first time thanks to the work of Katrin Kronenberger and Fritz Vollrath, from the Faculty of Biology at the University of Oxford, in the United Kingdom. The study, which has been published in the journal Biology Letters, explains that these spider-combed nanofibers acquire a powerful electrostatic charge that literally attracts the insects it feeds on to the web when they approach it.
via They discover a spider that electrifies its web to attract prey.
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