Spiders are fascinating creatures because they have unique features different from almost all other organisms.
One similar attribute is their unique way of hunting down the prey. Spiders usually make or spin a web that helps them catch their prey, i.e., small insects and flies.
However, you will be amazed that certain species of spiders cannot make the web and hence have equipped themselves with other methods to hunt down prey.
Wolf Spiders are a large family of spiders that usually do not make webs (However, some do make webs). Instead, they kill their prey by ambushing under the surface or chasing them down until they successfully hunt them.
Interestingly, Wolf spiders do not lack the web-spinning organs called spinnerets. Instead, they use spinnerets to transport egg sacks, insects, and food particles.
Many insects like moths, caddisflies, some flies, ants, bees, and even grasshoppers have a fascinating natural phenomenon of producing silk.
However, spiders have taken silk production to the next level by spinning or making webs out of it and using it for multipurpose like catching their prey, quickly moving around, and protecting their home.
As mentioned above, Wolf Spiders usually do not make the web, and many of us want to know its reasons. Therefore, I have written this blog to answer your query in detail on why most types of wolf spiders do not make the web. Let’s get started!
Before you read further, here is a list of hand-picked books to learn more about the world of spiders and bugs.
- Field Reference with technical details
- Great Illustrations
- For Kids 5-7 Years
- Amazing realistic photos
- Scientific Details
- Spiders and other common bugs
How Spiders Make Web?
There are at least 35,000 species of spiders identified to date, and many more are being added to the list with each passing day. Scientists estimate that the number could reach well above two hundred thousand.
Interestingly, most spider species produce silk, and many of them also use this silk to spin or make webs. The silk that spiders produce is of two types: dragline or tough silk and the other is called sticky silk.
The dragline silk provides the spider web with its structural integrity and strength. On the other hand, the sticky silk helps capture insects and other organisms that the spiders feed on.
Interestingly, although males can also make webs, the female spiders are the ones that usually make webs. The spiders have about 6 to 8 spinnerets under the abdomen or at the back with a central hole. The silk fiber comes out of the central hole.
The spinnerets are like fingers that the spider uses to shape, join and manipulate the silk thread and weave it into a complex structure known as a web.
You will be amazed to know that spiders make different types of webs ranging from very simple to complex webs with intriguing geometry, resilience, and elasticity.
The three important types of spiders webs are,
1. Funnel webs
These are made by one of the most poisonous families of spiders called Atracidae. Funnel webs are a series of irregular woven silk webs that funnels or narrows down into a hole underground.
The hole is covered by the web all around but the entrance is not covered by spider silk. This is a tactic used by spiders to lure down the prey into the hole where a ferocious spider is waiting to get hands-on with its prey.
The funnel webs can range between 1 foot to 3 feet in diameter and have an irregular pattern. The hole covered by the funnel web can be as deep as 20 cm.
2. Orb Webs
Orb webs are the most organized types of web that spiders make. When you come across a web inside your home or a place that stayed uninhabited for some time, you most likely see an orb web.
Orb webs are well organized and have a circular hexagonal pattern. It is made by a family of spiders with poor sight and uses tactile stimulation to spin the web. The orb webs are made up of dragline and sticky silk.
Once the spider weaves straight dragline silk, they use the spinnerets to connect the fibers giving the web its elastic hexagonal appearance. After the structure is complete, the spiders deposit sticky silk upon the dragline silk.
You will be amazed to know that orb webs are made very quickly and can usually be spun within two hours.
Spiders use the Orb webs to catch prey and quickly move from one point to another. If you have difficulty visualizing a web, it is most likely an orb type of web. This is because orb webs are very thin and usually transparent, making them difficult to see.
Theridiidae, or the tangle web spiders such as the black widow spider, usually make irregular webs. These types of webs are usually dense, irregular, and appear cloudy.
You will encounter irregular webs inside your home, especially in basements, attics, and Inside the cabinets. Irregular webs are made by anchoring silk threads haphazardly with one another and have the primary purpose of trapping insects and other eatables.
Irregular webs, owing to their dense nature, are very strong compared to other webs and have the extra benefit of providing spiders with hiding space.
Why Spiders Make Web?
Silk production has intrigued humanity for millennials. Many insects can produce silk, including some battles, flies, grasshoppers, moths, and even bees.
However, spiders have evolved efficiently and have used silk to make webs. This evolution of spiders to make webs is, beyond doubt, very useful for the spider species. They use it for multiple purposes, including,
1. Catching the prey
Catching the prey is the primary use of a spider’s web. Many small insects get trapped in the web and are unable to free themselves. This provides spiders with an unmatchable ability to get control of the trapped insects. Once the spider is back, it gets its hands on a proteinous meal.
C. Darwini is a unique species of spider that produces silk that is regarded as the world’s toughest biomaterial — it is even tougher than steel.
The sticky silk is the one that traps the insects, whereas the dragline silk provides rigidity to the web, making it difficult to break apart.
2. Fast Travel
Besides helping the spider catch insects, the spider’s web provides a quick and easy route to travel from one place to another. Once the spiders have made the web, they can quickly commute from one end of the web to another just within a fraction of a second.
This quick travel helps the spider better control the tangled insects inside the spider net. They can also ballon using the web, meaning they can stick the silk on an object and jumps without a fear of fall, as depicted in Spider-Man Movies.
Spiders use webs, mostly irregular webs, to cover their dwelling, i.e., holes, corners, or tree hollows, to prevent predators from attacking them. Spiders also use this strategy to lure prey. The spider hides behind or inside the dense web, and once it detects motion, it instantaneously attacks its prey.
Using a web to protect eggs, offspring, and reserved food shows how intelligently spiders evolved. The soft silk protects the spider’s eggs and makes them shockproof to a certain degree. Moreover, it also helps keep the eggs from desiccation.
The spider’s web also helps protect offspring by sheltering them and keeping the reserved food safe from other insects.
Most Wolf Spiders do not make web
Wolf spider is not a single type of spider rather they are a large family that contains many other spiders. They are called wolf spiders because they are very agile, have sharp eyesight, and are ferocious hunters.
Unlike traditional spiders that eat insects trapped in the webs, Wolf spiders hunt down their prey.
Wolf Spiders are considered the ancient type of spiders because most of the members of this family do not make webs. Instead, they use the same old methods of hunting other tiny creatures for food.
However, it does not mean that wolf spiders do not have silk-generating organs. Interestingly many of them are also capable of making webs like traditional spiders.
So the question arises, then how does the Wolf spider hunt? The answer is simple: Wolf spiders usually ambush under the leaves, stock of litter, or mud, and when an insect or prey passes by, they instantaneously attack and make them incapacitated.