Cross Orbweaver Spider © Brett Melican

Take 5: “Spooky” Spiders

This October, we’ve been leading up to Halloween with themed Take 5 posts covering critters that are spooky, creepy, and go “bump” in the night. We’ve highlighted snakes, crows, bats, and vultures, and now it’s time for the creepiest crawly of them all: spiders!

Even if the thought of spiders makes you want to run shrieking in the opposite direction, you have to admit—they’re pretty amazing. While different spiders use different webs for different reasons (and some don’t even use them), it is true that their silk has more tensile strength than steel!

With a handful of rare exceptions, their diets consist entirely of insects…and other spiders! And since the vast majority of spiders in Massachusetts are not dangerous, think twice next time you encounter one in your home and are tempted to squish it. Consider carefully relocating it outside with a cup and a piece of paper so it can continue its duty of ensnaring and noshing on pesky insects.

Here are five stellar photos from our Picture This: Your Great Outdoors photo contest to honor these beautiful arachnids. Happy Halloween!

Cross Orbweaver Spider © Brett Melican

Cross Orbweaver Spider © Brett Melican

Spider Web © Ian Kinahan

Spider Web © Ian Kinahan

Orchard Orbweaver Spider © Kim Novino

Orchard Orbweaver Spider © Kim Novino

Cross Orbweaver Spider © Jack Cotter

Cross Orbweaver Spider © Jack Cotter

Grass Spider © Amy Harley

Grass Spider © Amy Harley

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