|MadSci Network: General Biology|
spider webs are made from silk which the spider pulls from its spinnerets. There are several types of spinneret which produce different types of silk. A combination of silks are used in the construction of an orb web. the main frame is made with very elastic, non sticky threads that are very strong. Their strength and elasticity is due to the arrangement of proteins, pleated like an accordian. The sticky part of the web is made by a different type of silk which is covered in glue droplets. This silk is also highly elastic due to the glue, the elasticity is needed to prevent the web from breaking when prey runs into it. A very useful textbook about spiders is "Biology of spiders" by Rainer F. Foelix (2nd edition). This tells you everything there is to know about spiders and their webs. some useful sites- http://home.istar.ca/~hewak/spider.htm http://www.ufsia.ac.be/Arachnology/Arachnology.html
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