In this spider activity, you will learn techniques for spider stimuli. Proceed carefully!
What You'll Need:
Spiderweb (with spider)
Insect catching net
1. How would it feel to be caught in a spider's web? Would the spider know you were there? Take a look at a web that has a spider living on it, and see what insects are caught on the web.
2. Use a plastic straw to gently touch the web. What types of touches to the web make the spider approach? What touches make it run away?
3. Capture an insect, such as a moth, and place it on the web. See if the spider eats it instantly or wraps it up to eat later. How does the spider eat its prey? What part of the spider's body produces the silk to wrap its prey?
Some spiders wait in the centers of their webs. Others wait on the sides and stay connected by a single thread. They wait to feel vibrations on their web.
Gentle touches that vibrate the web may make the spider approach; these are the same vibrations that insects make when they get caught in the web. If a touch is too hard, it will make the spider think that something big is in the web, and it will hide.
If moths are put into the web, spiders will typically bite them and wrap them in silk. If spiders are hungry, they eat their prey right away. They do this by injecting enzymes that dissolve the inside of the insect, which they then suck out of the dissolved body as if it were a thick milkshake. Otherwise, they leave their prey wrapped up for a future meal.
While many spiders spin webs to catch food, some do not. Spiders such as the tarantula and the wolf spider walk around and capture food.
Another Fun Fact
Spiders such as the orb web weaver spin two types of silk threads. The first, which is not sticky, creates the basic framework of the web. The next task is to apply the sticky silk, which catches the insects.
Have fun learning more about spiders!
On the next page, find out how to make a silly spider craft using an egg carton and google eyes.