See How This Giant Spider Expertly Wraps Her Dragonfly Prey

Written by Sharon Parry
Published: November 26, 2023
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The dexterity of this black wood spider is remarkable. A large dragonfly had already gotten caught in her web, and she had killed it. Now, she is using her silk web to wrap it up so she can return to it later to eat it! She picks up strands of silk thread as she, produces them, and coils them around the dead insect. This spider is an expert at wrapping!

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What Type of Spider Are Black Wood Spiders?

The scientific name for the black wood spider is Nephila kuhlii, a type of orb-weaving spider found in tropical India and Southeast Asia. They are also found in north Australia.

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Orb spiders are also sometimes called giant wood spiders or banana spiders. They are a member of the Araneidae group of spiders and build spiral wheel-shaped webs that can be spotted in fields, forests, and gardens. There are thousands of species of orb-weaving spiders occurring throughout the world.

Many build a new web daily, and most are most active during the evening.

These spiders have a structure called a spinneret on their abdomen, which is a silk-making organ. As we see in this clip, the silk is either pulled out by gravity or by the spider’s hind legs,

Do All Spiders Normally Make Webs?

Cardinal Spider, Scientific name Tegenaria Parietina sitting on its web, web in focus shot from the side

Not all spiders use webs to catch prey.

©Rav Kark/

No, not all spiders make webs to catch their prey. Some spiders use a ‘sit and wait’ method to catch their prey. They lurk in hiding places and then ambush their victims. Others actively pursue their prey by chasing after them! Also, some spiders invade other spiders’ webs to find food. These are sometimes referred to as pirate spiders. Some mimic the actions of a trapped insect to lure the web owner out and then attack!

Is Spider Silk Just for Making Webs?

As we see in this clip, spiders do not just use their silk to make webs. They also use it to package up their prey so that they can eat it later. Other spiders use their silk to create molting platforms, and others use it to make retreats. Most spiders use their silk to wrap up their eggs. You have also probably seen spiders using their silk as a dragline. They anchor it to an object so it will not descend too far if it falls. They use the dragline to pull themselves back up into their original position. Spiderlings also use silk to create balloons to travel long distances.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Natalie Gail/

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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