Weaving their magic for a mate

This 300m-long network of cobwebs shrouding the trees, plants and rocks makes it seem as if Halloween has come early to the Greek town of Aitoliko.

But the eerie spectacle is actually a natural phenomenon caused by a large number of Tetragnatha spiders building huge nests for mating.

Experts say it is a seasonal occurrence, reported the BBC, with the spiders swinging into action because of the warmer weather in the region.

An increase in the mosquito population - and thus more food for the arachnids - is also thought to have contributed to the boom in spider numbers.

The eight-legged creatures - also known as "stretch spiders" for their long bodies - are not dangerous to humans, nor will they damage the area's flora, Dr Maria Chatzaki, professor of molecular biology and genetics at the Democritus University of Thrace, told Newsit.gr.

After their mating produces the next generation, the spiders will die and the webs will gradually disappear.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2018, with the headline 'Weaving their magic for a mate'. Print Edition | Subscribe