Published: Tue, September 25, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

Giant spiders' web covers Greek beach

Giant spiders' web covers Greek beach

Resident Giannis Giannakopoulos shared images of a "huge veil" of spider webs on Facebook earlier this week, adding that the spiders seemed to be catching and eating a lot of mosquitoes. This year, a sizable increase in the mosquito population is also an important driver for the spiders' prolific web spinning.

A video, posted to YouTube by Giannis Giannakopoulos, shows the beach at the town of Aitoliko in western Greece under siege from the dense web.

In 2015, a similar event was reported with Tetragnatha spiders in Dallas, Texas where webbing took over a "football-field" length area.

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Such an incident is not completely unheard of in Aitoliko as the phenomenon is known to be seasonal.

Fortunately, the spiders shouldn't cause any permanent damage to the area's plants.

Maria Chatzaki, a biology professor at Greece's Democritus University of Thrace, says the creepy-crawlies appear to belong to the genus Tetragnatha, commonly known as stretch spiders due to their elongated bodies. When that happens, the spider population will decrease as well. They mate, they reproduce and provide a whole new generation.

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"A unusual and unprecedented spectacle I saw tonight at Aitoliko", he captioned the photos.

The high temperatures in this area are the flawless conditions for these spiders to breed. "Nature has its own rules that unfortunately many times we "wise" people outguess them with the result that consequences are painful".

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