Giants spider webs cover beach in Greek town of Aitoliko

22 September, 2018, 01:45 | Author: Darnell Taylor

A spooky scene of a 300m-long spider web cloaking a scenic seaside in Greece has been attributed to a mass of frisky spiders in the heat.

A soft, white blanket of webbing formed near a lagoon in western Greece, reportedly allowing a massive mating "party" to ensue between spiders in the town of Aitoliko.

Giannis Giannakopoulos posted this video of the spider web to YouTube.

"When an animal finds abundant food, high temperatures and sufficient humidity, it has the ideal conditions to be able to make large populations", she said.

The freakish sight was the work of spiders from the genus Tetragnatha - otherwise known as stretch spiders due to their elongated bodies.

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Although the event takes place every three to five years, an increase in the mosquito population - a staple in the spiders' diets - combined with this summer's hot and humid conditions are believed to have contributed to the extraordinary size of the 2018 webs.

She noted that the phenomena had been seen before in the region in 2003, and that the spiders would soon die off, and the web would degrade naturally, leaving the vegetation undamaged. "They mate, they reproduce and provide a whole new generation".

Greek biologist Fotis Pergantis said the spiders are trying to catch gnats. When that happens, the spider population will decrease as well.

"There are huge numbers of male and female spiders mating [underneath the webs]", Chatzaki said.

"These spiders are not risky for humans, and will not cause any damage", molecular biologist Maria Chatzaki told Greek news websites.


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