Spider silk is one of nature’s most miraculous natural substances. Both strong and more elastic than nylon, it is relatively impenetrable. It actually can conduct heat, and is known to have antibiotic properties. All spiders produce silk from special structures called spinnerets at the end of their abdomens. Hind legs are used to pull the strand of silk from the spinnerets.

Spider silk is made up of silk protein in liquid form coming from a gland in the spider’s abdomen. The protein is a natural polymer chain of amino acids and is stored until needed to form solid silk. When needed, it passes through an exit canal where it undergoes chemical changes. The act of pulling the silk from the hind-leg spinnerets puts tension on the silk causing it to form a solid strand.

Connie Holland is a Penn State Master Gardener from Adams County. Penn State Cooperative Extension of Adams County is located at 670 Old Harrisburg Road, Suite 204, Gettysburg, phone 334-6271.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.