Giant Spider Web Spins The Heads Of Experts - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/30/07-Wills Point

Giant Spider Web Spins The Heads Of Experts

It's like the movie Arachnophobia came to life, and it's right here in East Texas.  In Wills Point, thousands of little spiders have been busy building a giant spider web spanning 200 yards off a nature trail at Tawakoni State Park.  It's a web that has stumped entomologists across the country, trying to figure out why the creation took place.

"I thought it was Halloween," said Tawakoni State Park Volunteer Jerry Brian.

"It looked like something that should be in Herman Munster's front yard, or something," said Tawakoni State Park Ranger Freddie Gowin.  It's nothing they have ever seen before.  Employees and volunteers at Tawakoni State Park still can't believe what sits, or hangs right along their nature trail.

"I kept telling them, you all have to go look at it, and they did and it attracted a lot of attention," said Gowin.  Gowin discovered the giant web three weeks ago, while he was mowing the trail.

"I was coming around the path, and I saw it and thought that is unusual," said Gowin.  Since then, people have really been caught up in the web, as the spider's creation is now the park's main attraction.

"It stops you dead," said Tawakoni State Park Manager Donna Garde.  "You just can't believe what you are seeing, and then it sort of draws you in, if you are not creeped out because some people just want to run."  A picture taken a couple of weeks ago shows a beautiful white canopy that covers the trail.  Since then, the web has filled with mosquitoes and the recent rain has pulled much of it down.  Still, these little spiders, believed to be apart of the Tetragnatha family, are spinning the heads of experts.  Some believe the litte critters are social spiders meaning they are spinning the web together.  Others believe the web is a result of a dispersal event. 

"A dispersal event is when spiders balloon out and try to go to a new area and because there was so many thousands putting their web up, they became trapped in the web and can't go anywhere," said Garde.  The park says they hope the busy spiders don't go anywhere and just keep itsy bitsying themselves across the trail.  Atleast, for a little while longer.

Tawakoni State Park says it's been told entomologists will be out to study the giant spider web. The park also says if you want to see the web it recommends you do so soon as it's age is starting to show.

Molly Reuter, Reporting.


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