Look closely at Photo 2 (of 2) in the following set of images. Notice the spider is “mummifying” its prey. Experts say spiders wrap their prey in silk in order to store food for later consumption.
The zig-zag pattern in the center of the spiderweb is a distinctive field marker for orb weaver spiders, as shown in the following photo.
Some species of orb weaver spiders decorate their webs. These web decorations are called stabilimenta. There have been many suggestions as to why spiders decorate their webs including added stability, visibility, or the opposite camouflage, to attract prey, excess silk or to attract mates. Recent research has indicated that stability & visibility, so that the web does not become damaged, may be the primary reason. Source Credit: Kim Phillips, Small Wonders.
Thanks to the following members of the BugGuide group on Facebook for their interesting comments about the feeding habits of spiders: Wildman Wayne Fidler; Cassie Novak; Jace Porter; and Harald Nowak.
Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.