The Q&A Archives: Weird Spider Webs

Question: I have found lots of strange horizontal spider webs in the vine growing up the silver maple tree in my yard. The webs resemble little "hammocks" and catch bits of bark, etc. They look terrible! I have been unable to locate the spiders that make them. Can you help?

Answer: If you're convinced the webs are those of spiders and not the webbed tents of fallweb worms, I'd venture they're made by Agalen naevia. This spider is quite common and spins a flat web with a tube at one side in which the spider hides. Eggs are laid in August and September in a flat cocoon, attached by one side in some sheltered place. The young hatch and soon begin to build their webs, which are enlarged as the spiders grow. If the web is destroyed the spider can build a new one within a day. The web contains many long threads crossing it from one side to the other and nearly parallel, and these are crossed in all directions by finer threads, the final shape is that of a hammock.

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