Tuesday, 12 November, 2019

1,000 feet of spiderwebs blanket large part of Greek town

Sandra Phillips | 22 September, 2018, 06:55

It's not quite the World Wide Web - but the spiders of Aitoliko in Greece have made a good start.

According to reports, a vast area of greenery has been covered by the web and experts claim it is a seasonal phenomenon, caused by Tetragnatha spiders, which can build large nests for mating.

Tetragnatha spiders are not exclusive to Aitoliko, Greece.

Local resident Giannis Giannakopoulos told CNN that he first noticed the "veil of webs" earlier this week and took photos.

Professor Maria Chatzaki, at the Democritus University of Thrace said, 'It's as if the spiders are taking advantage of these conditions and are having a kind of a party. "It's the ecosystem's natural reactions and once the temperatures begin to drop and the gnat populations die out, the spider populations will decrease as well". They thrive in hot, humid temperatures and continue to reproduce during that time.

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Greek biologist Fotis Pergantis said the spiders are trying to catch gnats.

"When these temperatures last long enough, we can see a second, third and fourth generation of the gnats and end up with large amounts of their populations", he said, adding that the spiders will multiply en masse if there are enough gnats. Humidity and the spread of mosquitoes, providing excessive nutrition to the eight-legged creature population, may also have contributed to the unusual cobwebs smothering the plateau and its flora.

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.

Neither the gnats nor these spiders are unsafe to humans.

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