The smell of spiders

  1. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,535
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    The other day I was clearing out some stuff for a dump run when I noticed the smell of spiders. And sure enough they were there - a bunch of biggons.

    I remember this smell from my childhood when I would sometimes play with spiders. I liked to feed them flies and moths so that I could watch them attack and eat. :tongue2:

    But then I began to wonder about this: What is that smell?
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,535
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    It is rather pungent and makes me think of a poisons like insecticides. Also, it seems that I mostly notice it around large garden spiders.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2007
  4. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,265
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    I've never noticed a smell of spiders. Do you have to be a gray to smell it? :biggrin:

    Possibly it's a pheromone they secrete, or maybe it's not really the spiders, per se, but the decaying bodies of insects they've captured? Do spiders secrete anything that would "bait" other insects to the web? I don't know if they rely entirely on chance and a good location to get insects trapped in their webs, or if they have some sort of attractant that helps lure them to it.
     
  5. radou

    radou 3,215
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    These spider threads are freaking me out! :yuck:
     
  6. Math Is Hard

    Math Is Hard 4,915
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    We've always had a spider problem at PF. Slurp spider infestations are common.
     
  7. Math_Is_Hardcore,can you elaborate that?
     
  8. Math Is Hard

    Math Is Hard 4,915
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  9. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,535
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    I KNEW that YOU were going to say that! :rofl:

    I remember thinking as a kid that I was smelling the venom. :biggrin:

    The idea of a scent intended to attract prey is interesting.
     
  10. Yikes enough with the spider threads lol. I would imagine it is just a pheromone they are producing.Some spiders will secrete a pheremone that attracts insects, one seems particularily effective against male moths:

    "The Bird-dropping Spider also uses mimicry of a quite different sort to capture its prey, which consist almost exclusively of male moths. At night the Bird-dropping Spider hangs from the edge of a leaf or twig on a short silk thread, its forelegs outstretched. While doing this it releases a chemical scent (pheromone) that mimics the airborne sex pheromone released by female moths to attract their mates. The unfortunate male moths that are attracted by the spider's deceiving pheromone eventually flutter close enough to the spider to be grabbed by its strong front legs."

    http://www.amonline.net.au/factSheets/bird_dropping_spider.htm
     
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