Spiders – Organic Pest Management with Strong Silk

Spiders have been the earth’s most common land predator for over 400 million years.

New research estimates that the combined weight of all spiders on the planet (as of April 2017) amounts to 25 million tons!

 

A healthy spider population helps control mosquitoes and other insects.  From the graph above, it’s easy to see that spiders contribute to healthy echo systems.

Forest and grassland spiders do most of the insect control heavy lifting. 

 Martin Nyffeler (Conservation Biology, Department of Environmental Sciences University of Basel in Switzerland) & Klaus Birkhofer (Department of BiologyLund UniversityLundSweden) (April 2017)

Another interesting spider fact is that scientists believe that spider silk may be the strongest material in the world. To date, no one has been able to replicate it.

 

Resources:

An estimated 400 – 800 tons of prey are killed annually by the global spider community – Springer.com – Report PDF

Arachnid – Wikipedia

Common Spiders – UC Berkeley

 

Eating Insects?! – Bug Chef – National Geographic

Food Webs, Ecological Importance of Spiders – Science Friday

How Much Spiders Eat – Science Alert

Mercury in the Food Web – Reuters

Specialty Spiders – Kidzone

Bohart Museum of Entomology– UC Davis

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