Do Male Spiders Spin Webs?

Spiders are known for several characteristics — their numerous eyes, eight legs, and of course, their ability to create webs.

While there are a lot of similarities between male and female spiders, they differ in several ways as well. They can have different sizes, colors, and overall behaviors.

Something that many people seem to wonder about is whether male spiders create webs, or if it’s only females that exhibit this behavior.

Do Male Spiders Spin Webs?

Yes, male spiders do spin webs. While their webs and webbing behaviors may differ from their female counterparts, they do possess the ability to create webs.

One thing to note, though, is that not all spiders create webs. All species create silk, but not all of them (hunting spiders) spin it into webs, no matter whether they’re male or female.

How Male Spider Webs Differ From Female Webs

Male and female spider webs tend to be very similar when the spiders are in their spiderling stage. Once they grow up and mature, though, they start to develop some pretty significant differences in some cases.

In general, a female spider’s web tends to be a lot larger and more impressive than the web of a male spider. This is due to several factors.

Female spiders tend to be a lot larger than male spiders due to their obligation to birth as many babies as possible. This large size understandable gives them the required energy and physical ability to construct relatively large webs.

Additionally, many female spiders use their large web to catch/store prey that they can share with their spiderlings and, in some cases, their male counterpart.

Males create smaller webs because of their (typically) smaller size and because they don’t have the time to create something so impressive! Male spiders have the primary objective of finding and mating with a female, and they spend a significant amount of time trying to do just that.

Therefore, they’re not often in one place for long enough to create a large web, or they simply don’t have the need to make one.

Male-Specific Webs: Sperm Webs

Male spiders actually create an entirely unique type of web that females don’t, and it’s called a sperm web.

Sperm webs are webs created by mature male spiders in order to transfer sperm from the epiandrous fusillae to the palpal bulbs. This is done in preparation of mating!

These sperm webs aren’t large and don’t stay up for very long, though. In fact, the males tend to destroy them right after they’re made, so they’re pretty rare to see.

If a male spider does create a sperm web, he’s likely doing it in very close proximity to a female that he intends to mate with. They can often be spotted right next to a female’s web.

Strange Male Spider Web Behavior

Most of the time, male and female spiders go about their own lives, mate, then part ways. However, there are some strange exceptions to this trait.

Some spiders in the Linyphiid genus, or sheet weaver spiders, have males that are larger than females and spend a good amount of time sharing the female’s web and her food.

There are also a couple of wolf spider species where females actually go out in search of males that are within their silk-lined burrows, which is extremely uncharacteristic.