False col. SEM of spinneret silk gland of a spider

False col. SEM of spinneret silk gland of a spider


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False-colour scanning electron micrograph of the spinneret silk-gland of the spider, Araneus sp. At the end of the abdomen on a spider many ducts of the spinning gland open on the surface. The whole gland is called a spinneret. Here, ducts open at the tips of hair-like structures which protrude through the body exoskeleton. Silk is secreted from the tips of these hairs; individual silk fibres combine, (at lower right) to form a single thread. Spiders use silk to construct a great variety of webs, cocoon-like tubes, trapdoors & trip-lines. The legs may have special structures designed for web spinning. Some males spin a sperm nets, & females spin egg-cases. Mag: x170 at 35mm.

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