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Tuesday, May 08, 2018

The Silk Producer

Written by: Dwi Lukmawati

Spider is a small insect and a carnivore. It has eight legs, jaws, and either six or eight simple eyes. Some of it lives during one until two years. It uses webs to catch its prey. It likes to prey on a variety of insects, such as fly, bee, butterfly, dragonfly, scorpion, beetle, grasshopper, ant, and other insects. It likes to live behind leaves, cracks rock, and holes in the ground.

According to Szalay (2014), spider has two body segments, the abdomen and the cephalothorax. The abdomen is located in the back part of the body. It contains of stomach which is the location of important internal organs, such as the reproductive system, lungs and digestive tract. Szalay (from Sewlal, an arachnologist at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad) explained that the cephalothorax is located at the front part of it, which is formed of head and thorax. It contains of eyes, mouth, and legs. 
  T JadThhere are hundred species of spiders, for example, Jumping spider, Ground spider, and Ghost spider. According to Wegner (2011), the Jumping spider has 0,20 – 0,75 inch long, large eyes, stocky body and sturdy legs. It has jaws like scissors and four large anterior eyes. The colors of its body are black, grey, brown or beige (rarely green). Besides that, Yahya (2001) explained that the Jumping spider prefers to attack its prey with jumping as its name indicated. It is powerful enough to hunt preys larger than itself. It has eyes which are able to locate prey and legs which enable it to do a perfect jump. According to Wegner (2011), the Ground spider has 0,50± (more less half) inch long body. It has eight small eyes. The color of its body is black or brown. The Ghost spider has 0,25-0,50 (quarter to half) inch long body. It has eight small eyes. The colors of its body are brown and yellow.

Most people know that spider catches its prey using its webs. It makes its webs using silk from its body. According to
Staff (2015), the silk is produced by specialized glands found in the abdomen of the spider that is formed of liquid protein generated within the body. According to Yahya (2001), the silk consists of the amino acids, such as glycine, alanine, serine and tyrosine.

Every species of spider has its own way of spinning and using webs. But they all employ the same perfect thread-production mechanism. God has created in spiders a system which is flawless in every way. The thread of the tear-resistant cocoon, the elastic sticky thread of the capturing spiral, the less elastic spiral thread the spider walks on, the less elastic, almost rigid thread which makes up the frame of the web, the thread of the tear-resistant cocoon, the soft thread used for wrapping eggs and prey (Yahya, 2001). 

According to Yahya (2001), every spider produces 330 meters (more or less 3 milligrams) silks every day. The silks are stronger than steel. In addition, it is very elastic. Besides that, this silk thread is very useful to help them moving, swinging from one place to another, making egg sac, and protecting the nest hole. Many kinds of spiders have a color pattern to disguise their body’s color on flowers which they perched to catch prey, suck the nectar, and protect themselves from enemy.

            Spider has characteristic which is not possessed by other animals. It has webs that can be used as a conductor of heat, which is applied into technology or development. Spider’s webs are strong and elastic, so it is able to produce power 800 higher than other materials and 1000 higher than thread of silkworm. This power is influenced by the pattern which is very complicated. In addition, these webs have bounds to each other and will not diminish its strength even though one of the web’s patterns is broken. Instead of weaken, these webs will strengthen.

Spider provides many benefits in human life. In medical science, doctors use a sewing thread of spiders’ silk to sew the tendon and joint operations which are very sensitive. In addition, in the construction, an architect imitates models spider’s web pattern in projects development. 

Staff. (2015). Spider Identification. [Online]  Retrieved on March 30, 2016 from
Szalay, J. (2014). Type of Spiders and Spider Facts. [Online] Retrieved March 25, 2016 from
Wegner, S. G. (2011). Spider Identification Guide. [Online] Retrieved on March 27, 2016 from Guide-Wegner-BASF-Revised 12-2-14.pdf
Yahya, H. (2004). The Miracle in the Spider. [Online] Retrieved on March 25, 2016 from