This giant “communal” spiderweb was recently spotted at Lakeside Park in Rowlett, Texas.
Since its discovery a few days ago, the mega-web has attracted a steady stream of curious sightseers.
“It’s just so cool,” noted Jennifer Kolmes, a graduate of Texas A&M Agrilife Extension’s Master Naturalist program, at WFAA News. “I don’t know, I am just a science nerd, I guess. I just love this sort of thing.”
The identity of the spiders are unknown, but they’re probably long-jawed spiders. (Credit: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Mike Merchant)
Spiders, as solitary creatures, do exhibit sociality from time to time. By building communal webs, they can maximize the total biomass captured per spider. Such colonies have been known to grow large enough to take down birds, bats, and large insects.
As noted at ABC7, the large amount of flying food in Texas right now is what probably motivated the spiders to collaborate on the mega-web.
If you think this web is impressive, check out the one discovered at Lake Tawakoni State Park a few years back.
(Credit: LTSP Office Sundance/Texas Government)
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Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org and @dvorsky. Top image by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service/Mike Merchant.