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Question:
Our fourth grade class was wondering. We are reading Charlotte's Web and we have come across two things we need to ask about. Is there such a thing as an umbrella web or a dome web? These were two terms I came across while teaching the students Charlotte's Web. If you could let us know, we would appreciate it.


Replies:
I have never heard of webs with those specific names or structures. This commercial web site has a pretty good description of web types and functions, and while it doesn't mention dome or umbrella, it does include a picture of a "dome" web. My guess it is a more or less accidental form of the generally random structured cobweb.

http://www.pestproducts.com/spider-webs.htm

This site

http://www.backyardnature.net/spidsilk.htm

has a picture of a sheet web made by a "filmy dome spider" which fits my guess above. Another site

http://www.carleton.edu/campus/newsbureau/pr/spiders.html

has a student article about "sierra dome spider" behavior. A Google search turned up these in seconds, more looking will undoubtedly find more information. Good luck

J. Elliott


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