Orb web with dew drops ©Bert Van der Krieken

Orb web

This is the typical web that you see in front of the window and that is often stretched out between plants. It’s a flat, round web that is easily recognized as it resembles a wheel. The support threads that run from the centre of the web look like wheel spokes. There is no adhesive on these threads, the spider uses them to move about in the web. One of these threads functions as a signal wire that transmits the vibrations and alerts the spider. If you follow this thread, you will find the spider!
The web also has spiral wires with small droplets of adhesive to catch prey. But also on these threads orb web spiders don’t get stuck, they have special claws on their feet so they can move around the web easily.

Sometimes you see silk in a zigzag pattern in the middle of the web. This is called the stabilimentum. Some spiders decorate their web with it to lure prey, camouflage themselves and make the web stand out for birds so they are less likely to fly through it.

• Flat, round web
• Vertical or horizontal
• Spokes and spiral wires
• Sometimes stabiliment
• Made by wheel web spiders (Araneidae), Stretch spiders (Tetragnathidae) and cribellate orb weaver spiders (Uloboridae)