The ballooning movement gives certain spiders the appearance of flight. Larinioides sclopetarius is the scientific name for these flying spiders. These creatures are known by several names, including grey cross-spider and bridge-spider. According to various studies and research, no such spider species has wings. However, some spiders have adapted and prefer to live in trees rather than on the forest floor. These spiders have adapted ballooning locomotion, giving them the appearance of flying through dense forests. Here are some interesting facts about flying spiders,
Facts About Flying Spiders
1. Residents of many high-rise buildings, including the Willis Tower, Hancock Center, Hilton Hotels, and other high-rise buildings, have reported seeing spiders at the top of their buildings since 2012. This occurrence was attributed to the flying spider phenomenon in Chicago. They are found in high-rise buildings because they are attracted to light and feed on pests such as flies, moths, and insects. These spiders are not to be feared because they have not been reported to bite humans and are less venomous than bees.
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2. Flying spiders may conjure up images of winged spiders flying like birds, bats, butterflies, or bees. Instead of actively flying like those animals, some spiders can glide, or balloon, through the air using silk strands produced within their bodies. Some spiders can glide for only a short distance, while others can travel thousands of miles! There have been reports of spiders flying two and a half miles in the air! These small creatures are carried along by the air currents. These spiders, according to scientists, steer themselves using their front legs. Furthermore, they believe these creatures may be able to change their speed or slow down by adjusting their body position.
Image Source: Ferran Turmo Gort
3. Gliding spiders in the air are real. There are several kinds of spiders that glide. Many of these are from the genus Larinioides sclopetarius. The Gray Cross spider is well-known for its ability to glide. This arachnid is also known as the bridge spider because it is frequently seen on bridges. On the sides and beneath these structures, they construct orb-shaped or circular webs. They are found throughout the United States, particularly near the Great Lakes. These creatures can also be found in Central Europe. Bridge spiders have grey or brown legs with a brown and tan pattern. Adult female bridge spiders can grow to be half an inch long, while adult males can grow to be one-third of an inch long.
4. Another arachnid that glides through the air is the furrow spider. Female furrow spiders are about half an inch long, while males are about one-third of an inch long. They may be brown, black, or even reddish. They are distinguished by their thick, bulbous abdomen. Furrow spiders can be found in North America, South America, northern Africa, Asia, and Europe. The Selenopidae family includes another type of flying spider. They are also known as flatties or wall crab spiders. This is due to their bodies being only about the width of a nickel. Its body shape, combined with its black and brown coloring, allows these arachnids to remain hidden while resting on tree trunks or branches.
Image Source: Wikimedia
5. Scientists at the University of Bristol have discovered that spiders can detect the Earth’s electric field and use it to propel themselves into the air. “When one thinks of airborne organisms, spiders do not typically come to mind,” said Erica Morley and Daniel Robert of the University of Bristol in their study.
6. Flying spiders can be found on every continent except Antarctica, including Asia, North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Australia. Many live in tropical environments. Flattie spiders, for example, can be found in the Peruvian rainforest and the Panamanian jungles. Gray Cross spiders, also known as bridge spiders, can be found throughout the United States. Flying spiders usually hide during the day and watch their webs at night, waiting for prey to be captured. They are commonly seen in the United States from May to August. Hundreds of flying spiders can be seen in some cities during peak flight times. In fact, there is a cycle known as “The Chicago Phenomenon” in Chicago, where these ballooning spiders travel in such large numbers that residents in high-rise buildings are advised to close their windows during the month of May!
Image Source: Wikimedia
7. Flying spiders do not have wings. They use a silk thread as a parachute to glide through the air. These creatures fly by utilizing the Earth’s electric field. A spider begins by climbing a tall flower or a rock on high ground. Then it ejects a silk thread from its abdomen that scientists refer to as anchor silk. The anchor silk clings to the rock or flower to keep the spider from falling before taking flight. The spider then raises its front legs into the air to assess the electrical conditions in the environment. It absorbs atmospheric information through the hairs on its legs. If the spider decides it is safe to leave, it raises its back end or abdomen and releases a clump of long silk threads from its body. This thread can reach a length of 6 feet! The spider eventually breaks the anchoring silk and is carried away by the wind. What happens next? The spider moves in the direction of the breeze!
8. There are numerous theories as to why spiders glide or balloon through the air. One theory is that spiders are looking for a new habitat with more insects to eat. They could also be looking for a mate. Another possibility is that they are feeling threatened in their current habitat and are looking for a different habitat with fewer predators. Scientists are still learning a lot about this amazing spider’s behavior. In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for an intrepid spider flying through the sky!
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9. The first fact about flying spiders is that some are venomous and others are not. However, the venom of these bridge spiders is not poisonous. Human bites are not fatal; in fact, they heal quickly. Flying spiders use their venom to defend themselves and catch prey. They use their malice against predators whenever they are disturbed or their web is damaged. As we can see, most venom is poisonous, but flying spiders are different from other creatures in this regard. This fact dispels the myth about the dangers of flying spiders, proving that they are not dangerous at all. They do not bite humans, even when they live near humans.
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10. The most remarkable feature of flying spiders is their ability to travel long distances. They are not restricted to a specific habitat. They continue to move due to their ability to secrete silk that interacts with the electrostatic effect and allows the spiders to move. Did you know that? Some spiders can fly up to 16,000 feet above sea level. If you are arachnophobic or have an extreme or irrational fear of spiders, you may find this information concerning. But don’t be alarmed because these spiders are harmless to humans; therefore, if you come across one, take a look at it because it’s one of a kind.
These are the top 10 facts about flying spiders. Kindly share and do post your comments.