Spiders Blanket Fields in Webs to Avoid Flood-Waters in Australia
Rising flood-waters in New South Wales, Australia have not only displaced residents from their homes and caused widespread damage, but it has forced insects like the ground-dwelling wolf spider to seek higher ground to avoid certain death. The spiders instinctually climb blades of grass and other plants and are then letting out hundreds of meters of silk in an attempt to be transported to safety from gusts of wind.
This is known as ballooning and is uncommon behaviour in adult wolf spiders (more typical of young spiders seeking to leave their birth place). In a bizarre twist, the spiders are actually assisting local residents, as the increased standing water and humidity is the perfect breeding conditions for mosquitoes. However, the elevated webs are quite effective at trapping the pesky flies.
The incredible pictures below were taken in the city of Wagga Wagga. BuzzFeed has an awesome gallery of 15 pictures of this fascinating phenomenon, be sure to head over and check it out!
– BuzzFeed: Spider Web Forest Is Beautiful and Terrifying
– Canberra Times: Web Wonders – Spiders spin for their lives as floodwaters rise
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