Spiders’ cross protects frail webs

Decorative white silk crosses are an ingenious tactic used by orb-weaving spiders to protect their webs from damage.

Orb-weaving spiders respond to severe damage to their webs by building bigger silk crosses, but if the damage is mild they don’t bother adding extra decoration.

Professor Mark Elgar of Melbourne University said web damage is costly for spiders as a lot of nutritional resources are required to rebuild a web. “So they evolved this ingenious way to minimise unwanted damage,” he said.

“It’s much like we mark glass windows with tape to prevent people walking into them,” he said.

Read more at University of Melbourne