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SPIDERS No.40 – Spinnerets and Cribellum

 
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Walter Piorkowski



Joined: 14 Aug 2006
Posts: 684
Location: South Beloit, Ill

PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:37 pm    Post subject: SPIDERS No.40 – Spinnerets and Cribellum Reply with quote





Image 1
Spinnerets and cribellum of the crebulate spider genus Ubolorus. View with spider on its back.
Nikon 10X Achromat
Diffused fiber optic illumination.
101 images at 5 micron increments.

Image 2
Close-up of four spinnerets, plus at the top of the view, the cribellum. An additional silk producing organ of the crebulate spiders. It is more of a flat plate than a cone shaped projection, like the spinnerets.
Nikon 20X Achromat
Diffused fiber optic illumination.
165 images at 2 micron increments.

Leitz Ortholux microscope
4X Leitz projection eyepiece plus 1/3x relay lens
Canon 50D
Zerene PMax stacking.
Processing in Photoshop, Bibble Pro5


It is almost too amazing to believe, but there are spiders that have a silk producing organ of extraordinary complexity that is not a spinneret. The organ is called a cribellum and is flat or plate like and resides below the more external spinnerets. This remarkable organ contains tens of thousands of minute silk spigots. In some spiders, over 40,000!

The spigots are as expected are extraordinarily small and produce silk strands only 0.01 micrometers in diameter. The huge number of micro fine strands are woven together to create a type of silk that looks like wool under the microscope and snags the fine hair projections of any insect touching it. No need for stickiness.

These micro fine strands are manipulated by the back legs of the crebulate spider by a comb like feature called the calamistrum, which is the subject of part two of this installment.

Unfortunately, spigots and silk strands of this size are beyond the resolution of my optical microscope so image number two is unable to show any details on the cribellum.

Walt
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curt0909



Joined: 26 Oct 2011
Posts: 607
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful photos and interesting info. This video was linked on microscopy-uk.com a couple months ago. She presents some interesting facts about spiders and silk. http://www.ted.com/talks/cheryl_hayashi_the_magnificence_of_spider_silk.html
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Walter Piorkowski



Joined: 14 Aug 2006
Posts: 684
Location: South Beloit, Ill

PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Curt for the complement and TED link. I not only listened to her talk but many others. Walt
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Mitch640



Joined: 15 Aug 2010
Posts: 2137

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can see how she can say so positively how she is devoting her life to the study of spiders. There seems no end to the fascinating things they have to show us.
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curt0909



Joined: 26 Oct 2011
Posts: 607
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you enjoyed it Walt
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