Scientists have found that the sound of a spider web, plucked like a guitar string, provides the spiders with information about prey, mates, and even the web's structural condition.
The spiders ‘tune’ the silk, controlling and adjusting its properties, the thread tensions and interconnectivities.
Researchers have found that spider silk is tunable to a wide range of harmonics or simple pitch relationships.
Spiders can receive these nanometer (millionth-of-a-millimetre) vibrations with organs on each of their legs. This shows that many spider silks are able to combine exceptional toughness with the ability to transfer delicate information.
NZ’s largest spider in terms of leg span, (up to 15cm) is Nelson’s cave spider.