I found this fascinating video of Sir David Attenborough explaining what “ballooning” is, and thought I’d share it with you all. It is not very often I can watch stuff on spiders but this was great (I couldn’t bring myself to watch the “jumping spider” video on the BBC iplayer though)!
First some interesting facts for you:
1. Autumn is spider breeding season.
Most animals have their young in the spring so they have the abundance of summer to prepare the young for the winter. So it seems strange that as the months get cooler spiders are focused on finding a mate. We humans become much more aware of spiders in the Autumn as the females fatten up to attracted a courting male. Autumn can be a scary time for arachnophobes, as more spiders are spotted inside houses. These hopeful individuals are usually males in search of their female mate. Towards the end of autumn, spiders start to prepare for the chilly time ahead. Many will die off with the first frost, whilst others hibernate until the following spring.
2. Baby money spiders use gossamer threads to balloon from their family home.
Walking through the countryside in autumn, you will most likely see the web spun carpet of the money spider. These swathes are made up of gossamer threads, spun by juvenile money spiders as they make the big step of leaving home.
Watch this fascinating video with David Attenborough explaining how they do it: