December 21, 2006

Raising spiders: Communication and silk

Acoustic communication

Spiders emit sounds, they screech to interrelate with others spiders. Sound is used in flirting, aggression (male spiders) and defense. The advantage of making the right sound is clear, since any intruder who enters in the domains of the spider is a prey in potency. Failing in the attempt of showing friendly can end up in cannibalism.

Pheromone communication
The other form of spider communication is the six-smells or pheromones. Pheromones are volatile chemical substances segregated by spiders allow them to identify the sex of any other spider(s) they bump into or whose spider they get in contact with. The spider web is covered with these chemical substances. The male spider, for instance, can find a female spider of its own specie by following the dragging wire or trip over her web.

Spider silk
For most spiders, silk represents an important role in their daily life. It is believed it was originally developed as a mean to cover burrows the then to protect dried eggs and against predators. Much later it started being used to capture and wrap the prey.

The silk is produced by abdominal glands and there are seven types of them. Each gland produces its own kind of silk for a specific function. No spider family has the seven classes and the cylindrical gland that produces the silk is present in the female spiders to wrap the eggs, but not in the male spiders.

The silk comes out pretty much like toothpaste comes out of its tube. The liquid silk is laid as the spider stretches it. The more strength spiders stretch the spider, the stronger the silk will be.


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