Can spiders fly? Most people will say no. However there is one species that does take flight using an interesting method. The Ballooning spider is a species of spider that does migrate during the fall by creating webs much like a hot air balloon. These fascinating spiders can be seen throughout Texas fluttering in the wind. The latest phenomenon occurred last year with heavy sighting occurring through Northern Texas. A Five Star Termite & Pest Control would like to share more about this unique spider species.
Why Do Flying Spiders Balloon?
The ballooning spider, or sometimes referred to as the Kite spider, is a migrating species which is unique when it comes to the arachnid family. The ballooning spider will spin thin, light weight strands of gossamer webs that are designed to be captured by the wind. Ballooning spiders often create a triangle or kite like web and sometimes make a pouch at the bottom end. Ballooning spiders will use this tactic to disperse their babies, launching the spiderlings into the air. However, some adult spiders have been observed attaching themselves to the web and taking flight also. Studies have reported that adult spiders have been observed climbing to high areas such as on top of buildings or trees. Rising their abdomen into the air, they release their silk for the wind to eventually capture while taking the web and the spider with it. Females will create a pouch like web for her spiderlings to ride inside. These webs are at the mercy of the wind currents and some of the ballooning spiders have been seen soaring through the air by mid sea ships. Researchers had often wondered what triggered this massive migration of spiders and was able to determine that Earth’s electric field plays a major role. The Earth’s electric field provided the lift or wind conditions. The ballooning spiders may be able to detect which direction the wind will blow and when it is coming. Ballooning spiders have been seen testing wind speed and the wind direction by turning into the wind and raising their front legs into the air. If the wind seems suitable they will eject their webs and take flight. Another interesting observation occurred when a female spider spun her web on a day without wind but due to the heat, the web was able to raise high enough to reach the upper wind currents and take flight. Unfortunately, most adult ballooning spiders don’t survive. However, adult ballooning spiders do use an anchor like method of controlling where they land. They deploy heavier strands of silk to act as an anchor that grips onto tree branches or anything they choose to land on. The web as well as the spider legs are water proof, helping them stay attached to their web while passing through rain and even the ocean. Ballooning spiders comes in a wide range of species and appearances. Many crab spiders are part of the ballooning spider family and this unique spider family can be found all over the world including Australia and Germany. Ballooning spiders can travel wordwide using this flying technique.
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This unique species of spider can be seen leaving Texas come fall, so keep an eye out for one of nature’s wonders. While spiders may be interesting to look at from afar, many people don’t want them in their home. For all of your pest control needs, contact A Five Star Termite & Pest Control today.