Orb-weaver spider (Family Araneidae)
The orb-weaver spiders (Family Araneidae) are the builders of spiral wheel-shaped webs often found in gardens, fields and forests. The Family is a large one, including over 2800 species in over 160 genera worldwide, making it the third largest Family of spiders known (behind Salticidae and Linyphiidae).
Generally, orb-weaving spiders are three-clawed builders of flat webs with sticky spiral capture silk. The building of a web is an engineering feat, begun when the spider floats a line on the wind to another surface. The spider secures the line and then drops another line from the center, making a "Y". The rest of the scaffolding follows with many radii of non-sticky silk being constructed before a final spiral of sticky capture silk. The third claw is used to walk on the non-sticky part of the web. Characteristically, the prey insect that blunders into the sticky lines is stunned by a quick bite and then wrapped in silk. If the prey is a venomous insect, such as a wasp, wrapping may precede biting.
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