double basket spider web

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Thu, 07/26/2012 - 16:39.

We have all around us a natural "envelop of protection” - but, alas, many of us don't see it that way.  All around us insects and animals go about their daily business of "balancing" the species.   Spiders reduce all those insects which bother us...their webs are natural “window screening”.

I hadn't noticed a spider web like this before - very difficult to capture a representative image - there was one web basket set inside a lower more coarsely woven web basket.  

Above you can see the spider in the middle of the image just under the bottom side of the top basket. Notice the dark detritus from dismembered insects caught in the webs.  What strikes me as significant about this web structure is that there are two parallel tensil membranes and the two are connected with single fibers which create little "tent top" like peaks under the top membrane.   

What other structures are you aware of which derive their structural strenth by inter-connecting two parallel tension surfaces? 

Below is a close up of the spider.   If there is an arachnid specialist out there who can identify this spider, please contact me or comment here.   Thanks.  This blog (I believe from Appalachia) has an image of a similar dew covered web.  Here is another dew covered web.   We can geo map the range of this spider from the exif info on on cameras!   Google - get on this!

 

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