Spiral Orb Web

Spiders are often recognized by the web they weave. There are many types of webs, but this page focuses on the Spiral Orb Web.

St. Andrew's Cross Spider in zig zag web is an orb weaver.

St. Andrew’s Cross Spider in zig zag web is an orb weaver.

Spiral orb webs and the ones most people are familiar with, such as the webs near your door, corners, lights, etc.

Technically speaking, these spider webs are commonly associated with the family Araneidae, Tetragnathidae, and Uloboridae.

There are many types of silk that spiders use to build their web. The spider web allows a spider to trap its food without having to spend a lot of energy chasing its prey; however, the energy required to create a spider web consumes a lot of protein, so the spider will often consume its own web (recycle).

Above, you’ll see an example of a spider web (the orb web), being constructed. There is much more to building a spider web, but this covers all the basics and serves as an excellent overview.

Did you know that a spider’s silk strands can be stronger than steel strands of the same thickness? In fact, many high tech companies are studying the material’s structure to help develop new products for building and design!

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11 replies
  1. seeker says:

    I live in the N.W.this may be wolf spiders, there web may be to the power lines above to the bushes below by late fall this is a site in my own yard, wow.

  2. Cece Llanos says:

    I had an in garden resident this summer. A very large Golden orb spider in my back yard. He moved around to approx 4 sites about 20 feet apart. He settled in a good spot for 3 weeks. I would watch him daily and at night. I would also take pictures of him. He was about the size of a bottle cap without the leg span. My Zip is 92505 and we have had some cold weather lately.

    I noticed he was becoming more lethargic and sleeping in a secluded spot on my spa most of the day. Last Tuesday was the last day I saw him. He seemed to be sleeping, early evening I took a look and he was hanging on a piece of web but very still. The next day the web was completely gone. He has taken his web down every couple of days but always constructed another. My question is do they hibernate or die? (I named him Alfrado. I took many pictures of him).

  3. smitty says:

    I have a spider outside my patio door. I can turn the outside light on and watch him construct his web. Really cool. This has happened several times. But when I wake up in the morning the web and the spider are gone. Do spiders de-construct their webs or did a bird or bat take it down? Does anyone know what happens?

  4. Kiah says:

    There was a spider in my car 5 minutes ago. I killed it, but nit looked just like this spider, The Orb Weaver. My sister found it and nearly got bitten. It just apperared and it may have bitten her, I’ll have to check now.

  5. Joe Fagan says:

    You saw them working from outside in, probably for this reason. Some orb weavers build a ‘scaffold’ working from the inside out, very quickly, widely spaced and non-sticky. They use this to help then get from one radial to the next when laying the sticky spirals, working from outside in. You caught them at the slower second phase. The sticky silk is slower to produce and trickier to lay – it also keeps their legs busier and so they can’t manage without the scaffolding. When a section of scaffold is no longer needed, the spider will eat it. So, creation or evolution? They both seem unbelievable. Did you see that a 110million year old fossil of an orb web was discovered fossilied in amber?

  6. binky says:

    I, too, noticed a spider near my apt weaving from the outside in, completing the exterior circles before winding its way to the interior. I didn’t see the beginning of the process, but noticed that it has to balance between two radials while spinning the thread for the circular part. How does it get from radial to radial at the exterior of the circle? I’d like to see a video on this.

  7. Janet says:

    My spiders this year so far are ”Boris & Natasha” and they weave
    their webs in a different order from the video above. They start on
    the outside and work into the middle to finish. Can you tell me more about this process? Does it differ with species? I’m in Northern California, Bay area. What type of spider is it most likely? Gold
    and orange to tan colors. Beautiful!

  8. David Robinson says:

    I recently noticed a beautiful web, top line spun about three to four feet across–and then filled in in a triangle as shown in this animation. Beautiful! It begins to appear at or a little after sunset every evening on my back deck. It is gone in the morning. I just started to notice this one about four days ago.

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