As a wildlife photographer exploring my property near the Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas, I had a unique encounter with a spider shooting its web into the air. Unlike ground spiders that catch prey by shooting sticky silk, this spider was simply spraying its web into the air from a fence post.

Spider Shooting Web
                                                                    Spider Shooting Web

This behavior is fascinating and rare to witness. Spiders create their webs by producing silk in special glands within their bodies, which is then extruded through spinnerets on their abdomens. The silk is strong and sticky, allowing spiders to trap insects or other small animals that get caught in the web.

While observing this spider, I was able to capture its behavior on camera from various angles as it shot its web into the air several times. It was perched on top of a wooden fence post in my garden, and I couldn’t help but wonder what it was trying to accomplish.

Interestingly, not all spiders build webs to catch prey. Some spiders, such as jumping spiders, use their silk to create a safety line when they jump from one surface to another.

In conclusion, witnessing a spider shooting its web into the air is a unique and fascinating experience for any wildlife photographer. It’s a reminder of the complexity and diversity of the natural world, and the many wonders that are waiting to be discovered.

I was hand holding a Fujifilm X-T3 camera with a Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens attached with a Fringer EF-FX Pro.

Camera Settings

  • AV Mode
  • Aperture f5.6
  • ISO 800
  • Shutter speed 1/2900 of a second
  • -.03 exposure value
  • Focal Length 400 mm

Here is a photo of another Spider I posted about back in June: Wildflower With Spider Eating An Insect

I did some research and this was the answer I got:

It’s difficult to say for certain why a spider would spray its web into the air from a fence post, as different species of spiders may exhibit unique behaviors. However, one possible explanation is that the spider is using the behavior as a form of dispersal or ballooning. This involves spiders releasing strands of silk into the air, which are then carried away by the wind. Ballooning is a common means of dispersal for young spiders or spiders seeking new territories, and it’s possible that the spider you observed was attempting to disperse in this manner. Alternatively, the spider may have been performing a mating behavior, or simply experimenting with its web-spinning abilities.