The Aeronautic Spiders

It is usually, but not invariably, very young spiders that exhibit the aeronautic habit; and exhibitions of it are most often observed in warm and comparatively still autumn days. At this time great numbers of young spiders, of many different species, climb each to the top of some object. This may be a fence post, the top of a twig, the upper part of some herb, or merely the summit of a clod of earth.

sufficient to buoy up the spider It then lets go its hold with its feet and is carried off by the wind That these ballooning spiders are carried long distances in this way is shown by the fact that they have been met by ships at sea hundreds of miles from land And the showers of gossamer which are occasionally observed are produced by ballooning spiders It often happens that spiders attempt to fly when the wind is too strong and the threads they emit are not carried up but are merely blown against some nearby object I have known in Fig 205 A SEA OF GOSSAMER stances in which large fields have been covered with a gauze of silk in this way Members of a Country"

Here the spider lifts up its abdomen and spins out a thread, which if there is a mild upward current of air is carried away by it. Occasionally the spider will attach a small flocculent mass to this thread which will increase the force of the current of air upon it. This spinning process is continued until the friction of the air upon the silk is sufficient to buoy up the spider. It then lets go its hold with its feet and is carried off by the wind.

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