Visitors of Rowlett, a Dallas suburb, are in for an eerie sight as giant spider webs have started draping trees, as thousands of spiders work together towards catching their prey.
Arachnologists are awestricken at the sight of the webs that span approximately 300 feet in width and reach heights of over 40 feet. But despite the fact that arachnophobia sufferers may be having particular reasons for anxiety, specialists insist that the spiders pose no threat to humans.
Experts explain that the giant spiders are only working together to trap insects and that this bizarre and rare formation isn’t known to be dangerous.
According to urban entomologist Mike Merchant, the trees overlooking Lake Ray Hubbard are being taken over by giant spiders that have created a “communal web”. This unison effort is aimed at taking advantage of the insect migrations. Even so, arachnologists aren’t yet sure about the identity of this massive spider web’s architects. What they know so far is that it’s most likely a representative of the Tetragnathidae family.
Back in 2007, a similar mega-web appeared in Willis, in Lake Tawakoni State Park. That web was created, entomologists say, by Tetrahnathus guatamalensis. As such, they estimate that the same family of spiders, with long-jawed representatives, may be responsible for the Dallas web.
“Finding spiders working together to build a huge web in what was more of a cooperative or ‘communal’ scenario was a real surprise for many experts,” Merchant notes.
Normally, spiders are lone creatures that create webs in order to efficiently capture their prey. However, in certain situations, they may come together and cooperate. This occurs in rare cases, when there is enough food for the entire spider population. According to experts, the thousands of spiders that coexist peacefully in the communal web show absolutely no signs of aggression.
Arachnologists hope to be given the opportunity of studying these spiders and have asked local officials to not destroy or treat the web with insecticides.
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