A lagoon in western Greece is starting to look more like an abandoned home’s basement than a picturesque shoreline. The greenery surrounding the lagoon in Aitoliko is buried in thick, sticky cobwebs.
The webs are filled with Tetragnatha spiders — known as “stretch spiders” for their long bodies. There are hundreds of species of these spiders that live in various parts of the world.
Wildlife experts say it’s not uncommon for spiders to build massive nests for mating, especially when it’s hot and humid toward the end of summer.
Maria Chatzaki, professor of molecular biology and genetics at Democritus University of Thrace, told Newsit Greece’s high temperatures are creating the perfect climate for reproduction.
“It’s as if the spiders are taking advantage of these conditions and are having a kind of a party. They mate, they reproduce and provide a whole new generation,” Chatzaki told the Greek news site, according to a translation from the BBC.
Fortunately, the spiders shouldn’t cause any permanent damage to the area’s plants. Plus, they probably won’t stick around too long.
“There are huge numbers of male and female spiders mating [underneath the webs],” Chatzaki said. “The spiders will have their party and will soon die.”
Local Giannis Giannakopoulos shared pictures Monday of what he described as a “strange and unprecedented spectacle” on his Facebook page, garnering dozens of shares.
Giannakopoulos said it appeared the spiders were gathering on the eastern side of the beach, adding there was a “huge veil” of them covering palm trees and other vegetation. He noted they seemed to be catching plenty of mosquitoes.
“It is probably a reaction of nature to balance the system by limiting mosquitoes,” he wrote.
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