Thursday, June 7, 2012
Giant Spider Webs at White Rock Lake, Dallas
There are several giant spider webs around White Rock Lake that envelop portions of trees and shrubs. Presumably, these webs are the combined work of many spiders. The images below were taken along the banks of the lake.
Whilst these spider webs are unsightly, they are nowhere near as big as the phenomenon that made world-wide news in the summer of 2007 when Lake Tawakoni State Park, about 50 miles east of Dallas, had huge trees completely enveloped in spider webs.
Giant spider webs envelop portions of trees at White Rock Lake
The giant spider webs of Lake Tawakoni were apparently the work of the Guatemalan long-jawed spider (Tetragantha guatemalensis ) that is found from Canada to Panama, and even the islands of the Caribbean. These spiders do their work at dawn and dusk.
In the image above and below, the web is so thick that it presumably prevents sunlight from getting to the leaves for photosynthesis which is why the leaves are dying.
The webs prevent sunlight from getting to the leaves of the plants
The dead leaves below are no longer covered by a spider web. The web may have been washed off by the heavy rains that we had in the past twenty-four hours, or the spiders may have removed the web. Sometimes spiders tear down their web in the morning (although it is unlikely in this case). They roll up the silk into a ball and eat it. The web provides protein for the next time the spiders have to make a web.
The leaves quickly die off when covered by the spider webs
Let’s hope this phenomenon does not escalate to the extent that it did at Lake Tawakoni.