Two Golden Orb spiders:the one on the left is a female and the one on the right is a
(source of image:http://geoffpark.wordpress.com/category/invertebrates/page/2/ )
To read an article entitled, Golden orb web spider spins ant-repellent silk please click on the highlighted words in this sentence. So once again we see that it was another animal species which beat humans to the punch, this time it is the Golden orb web spider that seems to have created the first known insect repellent!
According to the website http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/inverts/nephila.htm , the Golden Orb spider species
" makes the largest and strongest web. It gets its name from the golden colour of its silk." Female spiders can measure up to 45 mm while the smaller males measure only 6 mm.
The web created by the female orb spider " is extremely strong. So strong that even small birds stick in the net!!"
Being a male of this insect species is a risky proposition at best, because "The web is occupied by a single female and several hopeful males. Although it might not be true of Nephila pilipes, in the related species, Nephila plumipes, 60% of males are eaten during or after" mating!!The end of a stick was twisted in the web to attach the web to it, then the stick was waved about to spin the web into a single line about a metre long. The spider was squashed onto the end of the line and trailed in the water. Fish that attacked the bait became attached by their mouths and were taken. The breaking strain of the line was estimated at about 0.3kg but this was of no real consequence because the fish that were being caught were only about 4cm long. However, the method was successful enough to yield 17 fish in 10 minutes of observation."
"The golden silk orb-weavers (genus Nephila) are a genus of araneomorph spiders noted for the impressive webs they weave. ( The Araneomorphae (also called the Labidognatha) are a suborder of spiders. They are distinguished by having fangs that oppose each other and cross in a pinching action, in contrast to the Mygalomorphae (tarantulas and their close kin), which have fangs that are nearly parallel in alignment. source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Araneomorph )
Nephila consists of numerous individual species found around the world. They are also commonly called golden orb-weavers, giant wood spiders, or banana spiders. In North America, the golden silk orb-weavers (see also Nephila clavipes) are sometimes referred to as writing spiders due to occasional zigzag patterns (stabilimenta) built into their webs, though these occur much more frequently in the webs of Argiope, such as the St Andrew's Cross spider."
"The species N. jurassica, which lived about 165 million years ago, had a leg span of some 15 cm, and is the largest known fossilized spider/
"The genus name roughly translated from Ancient Greek, means "fond of spinning", a testament to the enormous webs the golden orbs weave. The golden orb's web has been seen to start at the top of a 6 metre tree and stretch as much as 2 metres across. Whereas most other spider webs are short-lived, these impressive structures can last for years. "
I know many people have a fear or dislike of spiders however they are amazing animals which have very important roles and lives on our planet! Spiders are predators that eat various other arthropods, usually smaller than themselves. Because they are acting as predators they kill and eat many harmful species of insects to humans.
Spiders "are the largest order of arachnids and rank seventh in total species diversity among all other groups of organisms. Spiders are found worldwide on every continent except for Antarctica, and have become established in nearly every habitat with the exception of air and sea colonization. As of 2008, approximately 40,000 spider species, and 109 families have been recorded by taxonomists!!"
Here is a short video about The Golden Orb species which I found on Youtube:
How many of you knew that some spiders species consist of members who live together (ie.they are social animals)?? I didn't know this until now! Fascinating!!
I hope you have enjoyed learning about The Golden Orb spiders and spiders in general. I sure have!!! :)