Why don’t spiders stick to their webs?

Some spiders do stick to their own webs. A spider’s web is constructed of two types of silk: “anchor” and “snare” threads.

The anchor threads are used to construct the basic web; the snare threads are sticky and are used to trap insects. To get around the web, the spider uses the non sticky anchor threads.

Once in a while, though, a spider will inadvertently catch a leg or two in a snare thread. When this happens, she simply secretes an oily solvent to free herself.

Some spiders have a special claw called a scopula, at the bottom of the hind legs, that they use to slide along the sticky snare strands and help them escape from their own homespun death traps.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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