Marvelling at such a huge brood, inside I googled and went on to be further amazed by the following facts:
- House spiders can survive for several months without food or water.
- Spiders can actually taste things with their feet - it all has to do with the bristly hairs on their legs which are used to pick up signals and messages (something to consider for the 'shavers' amongst us).
- Silk produced by spiders is so strong, that if it were woven into a thread one inch thick, it would be three times stronger than a similar rope made of iron, and could support a weight of 74 tons!
This is how a web is constructed...
sketch by E. Dale Joyner
The Greeks are involved too, the scientific name for a spider - "Arachnid" (uh-rack-nid) is derived from an old Greek story. In this story, a girl named Arachne loved to weave. Her weaving was so beautiful and perfect that the goddess Athena got jealous. To punish Arachne, the goddess turned her into a spider. But Arachne still loved to weave, even though she was a spider. The word, "spider," comes from the German word "spinner," because spiders spin or weave silk.
Less attractive qualities are perhaps epitomised by the fact that spiders drink the insides of their victims like soup (their poison contains digestive fluids which turns the insides of their victims into pulp). An insect version of Gazpacho?
I think I shiver most when I come across this particular type of spider, especially when it is unexpected and I am in my nightie ...
“Will you walk into my parlour? said the spider to the fly….”