Ballooning or the flight of spiders

Ballooning or the flight of spiders

This type of displacement basically consists of floating” in the air through silk threads. That is, the air pushes the silk thread and the spider will hang from it in the air. The spider is usually placed in an elevated area, aims the opisthosoma (“abdomen”) upward and expels the thread… A timely blast of air will displace the thread. They can travel for miles, but this is a random process.

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Those annoying threads that stick to our faces or clothes in certain seasons belong to small spiders that flew away to discover new horizons. M. Hutchinson

In addition, it has been discovered that, first of all, they assess environmental conditions. Thanks to sensory pilosities (trichobotrials) they perceive the charge of the electromagnetic field, and react to it in one way or another.

This is usually done by immature spiders and is a dispersal mechanism. They do it when there are many births (in spring) to avoid overpopulation and to be able to survive, since some spiders are cannibals.

In spring we may find many silk threads in the countryside that stick to us without noticing… Well, this is due to ballooning.

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