‘Spectacular’ silken spider webs blanket Gippsland town after floods

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‘Spectacular’ silken spider webs blanket Gippsland town after floods | davidestcourt

Millions of spiders have evacuated their waterlogged nests to take refuge in trees and plants, blanketing the small Gippsland town of Longford in a dense veil of silken webbing after flooding through Victoria’s east.Credit:Dr Walker, the senior insects curator at Museums Victoria, said spiders used a silk wire like a grappling hook to hoist themselves out of the way of floodwaters.“Ground-dwelling spiders need to get off the ground very quickly.

“It also shows the literally tens of thousands, if not millions, of spiders at ground level. Without spiders, we’d have plagues of insects.”Lotje McDonald Dr Walker said it was unusual to see natural displays quite like this in urban areas because drainage meant spiders didn’t have to flee en masse. Spiders usually deploy the silk in a process called ballooning. Like newborn hatchlings, spiders need to disperse over a greater area to feed more widely and prevent competition for food, so will send up a thread and be carried away by the wind.Sale resident Marco Brunel said it was a freak of nature.Lotje McDonaldThe 45-year-old, who has lived in Sale for 10 years, said he had never seen anything like it.


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