Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fancy footwork and non-stick leg coating helps spiders not stick to their own webs

Date:
March 1, 2012
Source:
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Summary:
Researchers asked why spiders do not stick to their own sticky webs. Repeating old, widely quoted but poorly documented studies with modern equipment and techniques, they discovered that spiders' legs are protected by a covering of branching hairs and by a non-stick chemical coating and that they modify their behavior to avoid getting stuck.

Researchers studying why spiders do not stick to their own sticky webs have discovered that a spider's legs are protected by a covering of branching hairs and by a non-stick chemical coating.
Credit: © ChristopheB / Fotolia

Researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and University of Costa Rica studying why spiders do not stick to their own sticky webs have discovered that a spider's legs are protected by a covering of branching hairs and by a non-stick chemical coating.

Related Articles


They also observed that spiders carefully move their legs in ways that minimize adhesive forces as they push against their sticky silk lines hundreds to thousands of times during the construction of each orb.

The web-weaving behavior of two tropical species, Nephila clavipes and Gasteracantha cancriformis, was recorded with a video camera equipped with close-up lenses. Another video camera coupled with a dissecting microscope helped to determine that individual droplets of sticky glue slide along the leg's bristly hair, and to estimate the forces of adhesion to the web. By washing spider legs with hexane and water, they showed that spiders' legs adhered more tenaciously when the non-stick coating was removed.

Their results are published online in the journal, Naturwissenschaften.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. D. Briceρo, W. G. Eberhard. Spiders avoid sticking to their webs: clever leg movements, branched drip-tip setae, and anti-adhesive surfaces. Naturwissenschaften, 2012; DOI: 10.1007/s00114-012-0901-9

Cite This Page:

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. "Fancy footwork and non-stick leg coating helps spiders not stick to their own webs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120301103802.htm>.
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. (2012, March 1). Fancy footwork and non-stick leg coating helps spiders not stick to their own webs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120301103802.htm
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. "Fancy footwork and non-stick leg coating helps spiders not stick to their own webs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120301103802.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) — The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) — For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) — An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins