Are all spider webs the same?

There are in fact different kinds of spider web, which vary depending on the species. Once you learn to recognise the different patters of web, you will be able to tell which type of spider made it. Orb webs are the stereotypical spiral-shaped spider webs – the webs picture when asked to think of a spider web, and they are usually made by orb-weavers. They take a lot of maintenance and orb-weavers can often be seen making repairs.

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Then there are the triangular webs, which look like a slice of an orb-web, and spiders from the Uloboridae family most often produce these. They are non venomous spiders and are found almost all around the world. Funnel webs are created by the larger, ground-dwelling spiders that hide away at the base of trees or beneath rocks. These spider webs contain a large opening for prey and a smaller one at the back for the spider to hide in or escape through. If you’ve ever noticed your house has its fair share of cobwebs, then that’s because they are built by the smaller house spiders. They can instantly be recognised by their erratic and messy mesh-like pattern.


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Photograph: Andrew Skudder