Wildlife

Mystery Picket Fence in Amazon Explained

The animal that built the strange picket fence structure has been found.

Six months ago, visitors to the Peruvian Amazon discovered a mysterious picket fence structure nicknamed Silkhenge. Despite watching the structure for several days, naturalists at the Tambopata Research Center couldn’t figure out what type of animal (or fungus) was building it.

The odd web-like structure that has captivated scientists. Photograph by Jeff Cremer, Solent News/Rex Features via AP

When scientist Troy Alexander first announced his find, all he had to show for his discovery was a series of intriguing photographs. He had no idea what Amazonian critter could have created the circular hideaway with a spoke-like outer wall.

After consulting with several entomologists, Alexander hypothesized that it was likely built by a type of cribellate spider, which are known for building elaborate structures.

When we first posted news of the picket fence, readers flooded the blog with suggestions for what had built it and what scientists should name the potential new species. While many of you agreed with Alexander’s hypothesis that the fence was built by a spider, others of you weren’t so sure, guessing that a fungus or caterpillar may have built it.

Forest Architects

In December, Tambopata scientist Phil Torres, who helped first discover the spider, along with University of Florida entomologists Lary Reeves and Geena Hill and photographer Jeff Cremer, returned to the small island where they had first found the small picket fences built on the sides of trees and tarps. For a week, they staked out the area, taking careful notes and watching the miniature structures very closely.

Along a 650-foot (200-meter) stretch of trail, the scientists identified 45 different picket fences. Their week of eagle-eyed watching paid off when they discovered spiderlings hatching from three of these fences. (See National Geographic’s spider videos.)

A spiderling seen in December 2013 near the mysterious picket fence. Photograph by Jeff Cremer, Solent News/Rex Features via AP
A spiderling seen in December 2013. Photograph by Jeff Cremer, Solent News/Rex Features via AP

Although they still haven’t identified what species the spiderlings belong to—or whether previous scientists might have already discovered it—they say the structure is intriguing for several reasons.

Torres wrote on his blog:

For one, it is not common for spiders to lay eggs and abandon them, they typically place silken egg sacs in their own web to protect. More oddly, it appears that there was only a single egg per structure. This, as far as we can tell, would be the only known occurrence of a spider laying a single egg per egg sac. We saw a few adult spiders around that were prime suspects, but never saw any making it, so the construction and culprit remain a mystery.

Mite Meal

Besides spiders, the area also contained large numbers of mites that were leading suspects as the fence-builders until the entomologists found the spiderlings. (Also see “Photos: World’s Biggest, Strongest Spider Webs Found.”)

The researchers have hypothesized that the picket fence either serves to protect the egg in the center from other predatory insects or it contains a chemical attractant to lure mites, ants, and other insects to the newly hatched spiders to give them an easy first meal.

Plenty of work still has to be done, but the builders of Silkhenge have at long last been found.

Now that you know the picket fence is built by a spider, do you have any name suggestions for it? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Follow Carrie Arnold on Twitter and Google+.

Carrie is a freelance science writer living in Virginia. When she's not writing about cool critters, she's spending time outside, drinking coffee, or knitting. You can visit her website at http://www.carriearnold.com
  • Linda Kyle

    The Hengemason Spider *this is my favourite!

    The Picketmason Spider

    The Picketmaker Spider

  • Robert Matthews

    The Hengeling Spider

  • New Yorker

    Thanks for the update.

    I liked someone else’s idea of the name “Gulag Carousel” for the spider web design–it was submitted earlier. It would make the spider proud! The spider would be the “Gulag Carousel Designer.”

  • Carrie Arnold

    I do like the Hengeling Spider, actually! I visited Stonehenge last year and it was awesome. If only I had known I would be writing about one in the Amazon… 🙂

  • Jake

    I think it should be named the picket spider or protector spider because the web looks like barbed wire.

  • Carlos Chairez

    Fence Master Spider

    Master Builder Spider

  • Evan Mayo

    Farpoint Arachnid

  • Paresh Pandey

    The Taj

    looks white and beautiful like the taj mahal..majestic!

  • Andi Carson

    For a common name, Corral Spider.

  • lisa

    Druids.

    • Carrie Arnold

      Another great idea!

  • Laura

    The Silkhenge Spider, of course 🙂

  • Mikel Hedges

    The Torino spider. Aka get off my lawn spider.

  • José Augusto Duarte Ferreira

    Druid spider

  • matt b

    How about “fence-sitter”
    similar to “baby sitter” with possible political humor potential.

  • Avin Kevin

    I like the name ‘Hengeling ‘ for baby spider. Silkhenge spider is better though.

  • Cody Copeland

    Merlin spider, after one of the myths of how Stonehenge was erected.

  • Re Nee

    *Barricadus*

  • Louis Warfield

    Saint Hubbin’s Druid.

  • mavi morta

    Isengard spider 🙂 …

  • Leo

    Name it after the name of the person who found it first.

  • Pamela G.

    How about calling it a Druid Spider?

  • Paula Fye

    I like Carousel Spider. That is what I thought immediately when I saw the image.

    • Carrie Arnold

      You’re right–it does look a bit like a carousel! Good idea.

  • Tejendra Kunwar

    I think the name “ArchiPider” suits it the best. An Archipider spider i.e. a species of spider which is a natural Architectural genius.

  • Holly

    Anemone Spider

  • Jake Langelier

    How About the Minas Tirith or Gondor Spider, It kinda looks like the white tower over the walls. LOTR reference

  • Kevin Petersen

    a white picket fence? What about the “american dream spider”?

  • Elliott Vice

    Despite being a bit plain, I really liked this name when I first saw someone say it on the last related post.

    The amber spider – what a lovely amber it is!

  • Christie Smillie

    I like the idea of “mason”, or “maker”, as well as the idea of a carousel.

  • lola rosique

    I am agree with New Yorker, like this name. Thanks!

  • Jeff

    Is there any constancy as to the number of threads or pickets?

    • Carrie Arnold

      Good question, Jeff. I don’t know that anyone has looked into that yet.

  • Meraid Griffin

    To me, it looks like a corall, so

    The Corall Maker Spider

  • David B. Lytle

    Since fences make good neighbors and these spiders make fences, perhaps they should be named Good Neighbor Spiders.

  • Jimmy Thompson

    Since the egg is abandoned by the mother…

    Orphan Spider

  • Vilma

    Me gustaría el nombre Araña Carrusel por lo que es circular. Es muy interesante este descubrimiento,

    Me gustaría Araña Crruse4l, por lo que es circular la construcción. Muy interesante este descubrimiento

  • morten

    lonely castle spider
    :PP since it borne alone in its little white castle i found the need to add a little romantic to its name.

    or White Castle Spider :PP

  • Julia

    The Hyder Spider, due to the fact that it’s so hard to find.

  • Sagan Cowne

    Looks like a sub species of Salticidae if you ask me…

    Obviously though, they have never been observed building web-henges or laying single eggs. Odd.

  • Peter Beck

    I like using the original nickname, whoever coined it: The Silkhenge Spider. Otherwise name it after the scientist who first observed the structures.

  • marcella i sweeney

    charlotte

  • Caroline Mianecki

    Charlotte Spider – ingenious like Charlotte’s Web

  • Carrie Arnold

    Great name ideas, everyone! Keep ’em coming!

  • Jake Fike

    The Put-a-Little-Fence-Around-It Spider

  • James

    Orthancaneae, in honor of the tower of Orthanc from Middle-Earth

  • Liz & Nick

    It should be the Druid Spider, then we can have Druish Spider Parties!

  • Cristina Enta

    Has anyone caught the spiderling that hatched from the picket? Just do that and observe its behavioral actions.

  • Joshua Barnhill

    Cairn Spider.

    Everyone is suggesting Druid, but the defining feature is the cairn it builds.

  • C. Blaise Mitsutama

    I like “Druid” spider.

  • Megan Broyles

    The Suburbanite Spider

  • me

    What else, the picket fence spider, you already named it.

  • Anne Collins

    Name it after David Kelly, who wrote the TV show Picket Fences.

  • J

    Funny, it doesn’t look Druish…
    Spira-Tumulus Aracnidae?

  • john dillon

    The Lone ranger

  • Ricardo Lopes

    keep the great work for our knowledge! 😀 and i think you should name it Golden Cradle Spider since they born with all the means to survive.

  • Tania Jones

    I’d suggest the following names:

    1) Hadrian (after the wall) spider
    2) Stonehenge spider
    3) Water droplet (the structure reminds me of a splash pattern from a water droplet) spider
    4) Milk drop (see above reason) spider
    5) White anther spider

  • Chelsea Ethridge

    Silk throne spider!

  • Ann Lochan

    The spider should be name; “The Amazon Gold white Picket Fence Spider” Since the colour of the spider is Gold and the fence is white.

  • Spencer Alexander

    My middle name is Alexander… and I is Troy’s last name (the one who found it) So I vote for the Alexander spider. In addition, if you look closely, the structure is very intricate. There are lines that run around the spires making it look like a fence around an arena with an Eiffel tower-like structure in the center. It is something Alexander the great would be proud of.

  • Elizabeth McKeon

    The Tom Sawyer Spider. For the picket fence that Tom Sawyer tricked his friends into painting, like this spider tricks mites and ants into coming towards.

  • Liz Druitt

    Doc Holliday Spider. For making it OK out of the corral.

  • Leigh

    Jericho spider

  • Alyssa Mecom

    Lagniappe spider is the name I came up with me a meaning a special kind of gift and it’s new so it’s a gift to us

  • Leila

    I really think the person(s) who discovered the web and later the creature responsible should name the species if it’s determined to be new. However I did enjoy the creativeness of other’s suggestion posts. I am curious how are the creatures going to be studied to determine what they mature into?

  • njk

    Why not ask the closest humans what they call it…doubtful it is truly ‘new’ and not seen/named before.

  • Val Crawford

    Fence erecting spider

  • Ruben Casillas

    The “American Dream” spider.

  • Mona

    I like Silkhenge spider and Hengling for the baby.

  • Hailey Brohm

    I think it should be called the golden mono spider, because it looks golden and there’s only 1egg per sac.

  • CHRISTIE WAGNER

    It should be called The Carousel Spider.

  • loy

    Fencing Spider ,, Fencing Arachnid,, Fencepider,, Arachnid Druid

  • Mikkel Christensen

    It should be called the druid spider, because they build henges. Druida/druidae

  • Maria Alice Ramos

    Me gusta saber de los animales y de nuestro planeta

  • Charley Eiseman

    For the record, it is not at all unusual for a spider to deposit its egg sac away from a web. Many whole families of spiders don’t even make webs, and a number of web-spinning species leave their webs to make their egg sacs. It also is not unheard of for very small spiders to make egg sacs containing a single egg each, although it certainly is extraordinary for such an elaborate structure to be made for a single egg.

  • diplocase

    Playpen spider because it leaves its young alone in a little fenced enclosure.

  • Nick

    I Like

    1) Druid Spider
    2)Macklemore Spider (White Walls)
    3)Hengeling
    4)Carousel
    5) My Suggestion is Wicket (Picket/Wicket) Wicket Spider

  • hiro

    Milk Crown ( jpanglish)

    The Milk Crown Spider

  • Mike

    The Architect Spider.

  • Mariangela

    I think the name “pickety” is proper.

    Love from Italy to all. Ciao.

  • Beaver

    The Stepford Spider (Stepford wives)
    or
    Keeping up with the Joneses Spider

  • Ella

    I like Golden Coral because the baby spider is such a beautiful gold color and the nest looks like a coral.

  • Shenden Cromwell

    The Fence Builder Spider

  • Paul

    Billy- why overcomplicate things

  • Pedro

    It should be called the Turtle Spider, since turtles abandon their eggs too.

  • Brandon Johnson

    If we called it the Golden Fence Weaver it’d line up with other species of spiders. e.g. the “Golden Orb Weaver”.

  • S. O. Rooney

    I agree with a previous suggestion. While the spider may be new to “us,” I imagine it is not new to any people living around there. I feel that they should be consulted about what it’s name is.

  • Anne White

    Species: sawyeri
    After Tom Sawyer- probably the most famous picket fence in literature

  • Jesus Lazcano

    Pickfenco Spider.

  • Dianne Sahakian

    I would call it the Golden Carousal Spider.

  • Linda Adrianna Trevino

    I like the idea that it resembles stonehenge, therefore the name “Silkhenge of the Amazons”, honoring the country where it was first seen.

    Thanks!

  • Claudia

    The Golden Follicle Spider (the fence reminds me of hair follicles)
    White Cog Spider
    Stonehenge Orphan Spider

  • Claudia

    Sorry, that was meant to read:
    The Silkhenge Orphan Spider

  • Judy Ellis

    Amazon Jewel Spider

  • Cris

    SilkengeSpider
    *I like this!

  • Redfox007

    Well, to have it colorful one could say it in Spanish:

    Oro piquete de araña

  • Redfox007

    Now, it is curious to me, why do they not just cut a piece of bark from a tree with one on it, and take it into a protective custody effect, and have a camera watching it, linked to a computer, so it could be broadcast to the world.

    This way, they could document when it was first found, where, and the hatching, growing, and such of the spider itself. Then compare that spider to known one we have images of.

    They could even place some mite, ants, and other creatures in the immediate area, and watch their reaction, whether the fence attracts them, or drives them away.

    Who knows, we may have an Orson Wells movie being made,?

  • Virginia C

    Great Builder Arachnid
    I love its work, careful, loving, detailed, such greatness is beautiful.

  • HAROLD MCCORT

    Just to add a common touch for us more simple souls, why not “Tom Sawyer”; after all it is a white fence!

  • Joyce Self

    Tether Spider, since it is built to keep in as well as to keep out

  • Joyce Self

    It could be called the Tether Spider since the purpose is to keep one in as well as another out.

  • OLGA ROCIO

    Considero que sería importante conservar el nombre que los nativos del Amazonas le han dado a esta especie, me imagino que hace muchos años ya habían hecho ese descubrimiento

  • HAROLD MCCORT

    ……WITH APOLOGIES…….JUST NOTICED THAT….
    I found a couple of other “Tom Sawyers” had beat me to it !

  • Deb Herrick

    Simply: The Golden Amazon SilkHenge Spider

  • Spellcheck

    Since we don’t know for sure that the spider parties much I would have to vote against any name pretending to its carousing.
    I hope that extreme misspelling has not pervaded National Geographic so deeply that carousal spiders would ever be so named outside the delerium tremens symptoms of some humans.

  • Aiden Cumming-Teicher

    What about the Hypnos spider?

  • Lisa Berry

    Sawyers Silkhenge Spider

  • Donna

    Stonehenge Spider
    It’s in a circle and we don’t know what exactly its for.

  • rich collins

    The Maypole Spider

  • Mike Zinkievich

    Looks like a slow-mo milk drop splash. Milkdrop spider?

  • Margaret

    Like others have suggested, ask the people in the area what they call the spider, The web is truly an architectural wonder. The intelligence required to originate and erect such a structure defies the imagination.

  • NITIN WAGH

    No Wonder if, anybody can called god ‘THE SPIDER’. In India for salvation and freedom from world people try to ignite spots locating at various parts of body. Between two eyelashes a point can open KUNDALINI, most precious spot show like the structure made by this spider.

  • Akilade Ayotunde

    Touche, what else.(Fencing)

  • Saeed Iranzad

    1- One egg alone
    2-Small island
    3-Picket fence
    Then: Crusoe Spider
    because of Robinson crusoe

  • Roy

    How about the Wilson spider, after the very elusive neighbour of Tim Allen’s character in Home Improvement? He was also very difficult to spot!

  • Wendy Lashley

    You should use name the locals call it but
    If the people in the area do not already have a name then I like The Amazonian Silkhenge Spider

  • Belkis González

    Creo que debe tener algún nombre dado por los habitantes de la región, pero me gusta el nombre de Crown Spider, por el fino detalle de la corona que circunda el huevecillo.

  • Douglas Graham

    The “picket fence” had all of the world wondering ,VIA internet, what it was and now it is being named VIA internet, I am not sure this has happened before. Perhaps homage is due to the communications world. Maybe Webcrawler?

  • Bendigo Shafter

    The Druid Spider.

  • Donna Carlson

    The” witches cradel” comes to mind . Reality is so much stranger than fiction. It is so exciting to find these new treasures and to think how many more are just waiting to be found .

  • david

    arial dish spider, airwaves spider, satellite dish spider, eardrum spider.radar spider.

  • Michelle Snare

    Corral Spider is perfect. No funny spelling or pronunciation. Brilliant. Make it so. 🙂

  • Sonja

    It could be called a ‘crib spider’. Yes, that’s definitely what it should be called!

  • Anthony Ford

    Common names may be entertaining, but in the scientific world they mean nothing. For instance, here in the SW US we have a snake called the coachwhip, but almost everyone calls it a “red racer.” Its real name, in Latin, which is universally known by biologists, is Masticophis flagellum. I have also heard the same people call a whole BUNCH of different snakes “red racers,” including garter snakes that have no red on them at all. Common names are just what the local people call them. While “silkhenge spider” sounds good, it should ideally be called whatever the genus is + alexanderi, after the scientist who first described the structure and followed it up. Common names entertain people who watch Animal Planet and National Geographic specials, but Latin names are how plants and animals are properly named.

  • christie lionelle

    I like the name, The Picket Fence Spider

  • Dale Musser

    Druid Spiders

  • Mario F monsalve

    We could name it “berlinWall” spider 😉

  • Mimi

    Goldfinger Spider

  • Carol Rose

    Bullseye

  • Mary

    The Picket Spider!

  • Juan Carlos Díaz Crespo

    The Palisade´s Spider
    The Circus Spider
    The Coliseum Spider

  • Juan Carlos Díaz Crespo

    The Palenque Spider

  • Aaron

    I’ve seen these same little structures, my whole life, here in Florida. My grandfather said they weren’t here when he was kid. He also said they were from wasps. They are always located on the bottom side of leaves or the eaves of houses.

  • james dejados

    THe jumper spider

  • Nilsa

    Homestead Spider

  • Chris Plancich

    saepe sepe spider

  • Tanner

    the Amazonian Tribz Spider

  • Peter Renner

    “Troy Spider” cause Mister Troy found it first right?
    “Silkhenge Spider”, sounds close to Stonehenge, love it!^^

  • Kimberly Crowner

    The Amazon Architect Arachnid

  • Mary Diffenderfer

    The Tom Sawyer Orphan Spider!!! The famous picket fence and Tom was an orphan of sorts!!!

  • Lordess Monroe

    orbital radius

  • Wendy Allen

    Stone Henge spider or Henge spider
    fence spider

    Weird and wonder full nature

  • nazima

    In kashmiri language we call spiders “Zalur”
    this sounds gud

  • Shannon

    Tiny Dancing Sun Builder in latin

  • kyle

    Calibo Spider

  • Chad sanders

    The dream spider. Because it’s living the American dream with a white picked fence on a hill. I guess in this case on a tree lol

  • Crystal Clements

    Tom Sawyer Orphan Spider!

  • Crystal Clements

    Tom Sawyer Spider

  • Keith Nichols

    With the center structure and the outer vertical poles, I would suggest it be called a carousel spider.

  • turtle23

    didnt planet earth include this spider in their documentaries?

  • Laura Hannivoort

    If it turns out the picket fence is for luring food for the soon-to-be-born spiderling:

    Trojan Spider

    Both for the discoverer, Troy Alexander, and for being a lure and allowing the ‘attacker’ to stay hidden until there’s nowhere else to go.

  • Jennifer Tilton

    Shelob

  • Keith Jones

    Druid Spider
    Sun Worship Spider

  • claire furness

    Maybe it should be named after the film Charlotte’s Web as it seems the adult spider uses its last strength to build the picket fence and egg sack then dies, like in the film.

  • Krasimir Petkov

    “Metaltella tessitura”.

  • Georgia Tzianos

    “Arachnotech” meaning technician spider!

  • SpiderVixen

    S I L K H E N G E. S P I D E R!

  • Miroslav Georgiev

    Just a Silkhenge spider. It may come as SIlkhenge Builder, Silkhenge mason,

    Silkhenge Queen as it is a female that lays its egg there.

  • jamie blackmur

    There’s is only 1 thing to call this spider. White picket fence “American Dream Arachnid”

  • Andrea

    Es un hongo. En la chimenea del garaje de mi casa salio algo parecido.

  • Siv

    The Druid Spider. Sounds epic!

  • Helen

    The Hengemason Spider

  • Massimo Trincheri

    Spider Ranchero

  • Mert

    Henger Spider

  • Alke van der Westhuizen

    “Silkhenge” sounds appropriate!

  • T

    You said it, its a Silkhenge … Spider!

  • Anthony

    Trelisidae…the treliss spider.

  • Chris Green

    Troy’s Silkhenge Spider. (If it doesn’t already have a local name…)
    For those of you who want to call it a Druid Spider, druids had nothing to do with Stonehenge or any other henge. They came on the scene something like a few thousand years after the henges were built..

  • Felipe

    spider anemone

  • Dupuy Laure

    Faut peut être voir les espèces de mille pâte (il en existe un qui fait de la dentelle )

  • jamie

    It should be named the silk-spider

  • Jonathan Amos

    “Sawyer Orphan Spider” Or just plain Sawyer Orphan or Orphan Spider

    As a previous suggestion 😉 Tom Sawyer the orphan and the white picket fence is what comes to my mind when i see this.

    as they hatch from white picket fences as Orphans.

  • Ibex

    Yup, my immediate thought was Druid Spider, too. It may be based on myth, but seems to be a popular suggestion. I also like Henge Spider or Silkhenge Spider.

  • Kristen Johnson

    Tom Sawyer spider in honor of Mark Twain’s famous character who had to paint the white picket fence!!!

  • atlantida

    although it’s the ‘Silkhenge Spider’, i would call it, the ‘Whirling Fence Spider’ … or the ‘Sufi Spider’, look at this video and you will understand why 😉

  • Sol Santos

    The Orbit Spider – as the fence is like orbiting an egg

    I also like the idea of Mona:
    “I like Silkhenge spider and Hengling for the baby.”

    Archispidling – “Architech and Speiderlings” 🙂

  • andy

    Andy is a good name

  • Tiby Povedano

    Pickethenge spider

  • Donaat M

    Cradle spider , Pike Spider

  • Beth Hatch

    The Keeping Up Appearances Spider or possibly the Keeping up Appearances Spider…LOL

  • Donaat M

    Or maybe: Cuna Spider (“cuna” is the spanish word for “cradle”)

  • Coco

    ‘Innospi’ as in innovator spider

  • Mr V

    Hissarlik Spider.

    Modern Hissarlik is an ancient city pre- dating bronze age, named Prime’s Fortress and later Troy, it was also the place which Homer beautifully described in his Iliad.
    Troy walls withstood 10 years under siege by Achaeans. In the end using their Trojan Horse stratagem, Achaeans defeated Troy and set the city aflame.
    Hissarlik as a name for spider would refer to the Mother Nature, that despite advanced and polluted modern world there is hope and that evolution will keep creating new species in the struggle of sustaining life as we know it.

  • Daniel Bednarz

    I would simply call it the Picket Spider or Carrousel Spider

  • pierre leblond

    the amazon picket fence

  • Kelly

    Golden fencer

  • Lorena Howard

    At first I thought it was a microscopic picture of a sperm penetrating an egg!–it looks also like a drop entering an ocher, vertical ocean. It should be called the
    “splashing drop fence”!

  • Terri Shaver

    The”Tatted Nest” spider – nest looks like tatted lace!

  • Terri Shaver

    The “Tatted Nest” spider – nest looks like tatted lace!

  • Pedro Frazão

    Why don’t you, inteligent people who knows everything, ask the spider if she really gives a dam about what you want to call her?

  • Greg Cox

    Eugene, or perhaps, boris the spider!!

  • Val Miller

    How about “Picket Spider” or “Fence Spider”

  • barry

    Good Neighbor Spider ’cause fences make these.

  • Odie

    Fort Knox spider

  • Dylan Spence

    The Silkhenge Orphan Spider.

  • Rita Scribner

    My name choice: Sawyer Amazonicus

  • Josip

    Maybe, name Arachnoidea constructalis

  • Giancarlo Castagne

    How about a name from the region or area its found in, not a European name. The people from the Amazon should pick the name.

  • Katy Kleszewski

    A spider who builds fences would be a carpenter! So I would name it a “carpenter spider”. If the name isn’t already taken.

  • toseopk

    L’araignée architecte , l’araignée bâtisseuse mais ca parait quand même tres étrange qu’il existe une espece d’araignée qui ne produit qu’un oeuf unique !! Plusieurs structures sont peut etre produites par une seule araignée avec pour but de coloniser un maximum de foret ???…

  • KC Compton

    Has to be a Wilson Pickett spider.

  • Lcyon

    The Fancy-Fencer spider.

    (The Silkhenge Spider is good enough.)

  • Sam

    The MAYPOLE Spider.

  • ryan

    Silkhenge Spider. This is the best name.

  • Hannah McCaffrey

    You should name the spider Pecktisfen.

  • Dave Jones

    It is already named ”Silkhenge spider” why change it ?

  • Jonathan Evans

    I suggest Madiba spider in memory of Nelson Mandela who spent time “behind prison bars”, then when he was released helped to give “birth” to a new democracy in South Africa

  • Saul Frommer

    When I first saw the photo I thought it might be a spider that could use the central structure as its own point of departure for ballooning, which is a procedure used by many spiders for dispersion. The surrounding fence-like structure baffled me. Now that we know that it is a spider that built it all suggestions have been made for the possible use of the fence-like structure. Since the “fence” may serve to keep possible predators away from the central structure which contains a single developing spider it dawned on me that as a common name “barrier-building spider” might serve as a meaningful common name. Should additional relatives be found one day they could all be referred to as the barrier-building spiders. Just a thought.

  • Ashmeed ohammed

    Henge Solo spider …. Henge because of the henge, solo because of the lone spider in the henge, but like Han solo….

    Get it? No? Okay

  • Nancy Smith

    saepem erectus

  • Wow! This is really amazing that a spider can also build a fence.

  • corners

    The fence “posts” look almost like the egg sac. Maybe insects cant tell the difference and think they are all just webbing,including the egg sack in the middle.

About the Blog

Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (dbraun@ngs.org)

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