Spiders' mating season cloaks Greek seaside with giant web

A huge cobweb covers the vegetation along the coast of Aitoliko, a town in western Greece, on Sept 18, 2018.
A huge cobweb covers the vegetation along the coast of Aitoliko, a town in western Greece, on Sept 18, 2018.PHOTO: EPA-EFE
A huge cobweb covers the vegetation along the coast of Aitoliko, a town in western Greece, on Sept 18, 2018.
A huge cobweb covers the vegetation along the coast of Aitoliko, a town in western Greece, on Sept 18, 2018.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

A spooky scene of a 300m-long spider web cloaking a scenic seaside in Greece has been attributed to a mass of frisky spiders in the heat.

In a video uploaded by Giannis Giannakopoulos on YouTube on Tuesday (Sept 18), a large stretch of land alongside the water is seen covered in spider web, with shrubs and short trees all falling within the cloak.

The video has attracted almost 180,000 views as of Thursday evening.

The area has been identified as the town of Aitoliko in western Greece by media reports, with the phenomenon attributed to mating spiders.

But the spiders' romps will be short-lived, according to British media reports which quoted an interview done by Greek website Newsit.gr.

In the interview, Democritus University of Thrace assistant professor Maria Chatzaki said: "The spiders will have their party and die soon."

Prof Chatzaki works in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at the university, and her areas of expertise include the environment, biodiversity and ecology.

She said the web was caused by the spiders of the Tetragnatha genus, and this phenomenon was also seen in the region in 2003. It was likely that abundant food, high temperature and sufficient humidity had provided the ideal conditions for a large number of the spiders to come together to mate.

She also said that the spiders are not a danger to humans, and will not cause any damage to the vegetation.

According to British newspaper The Guardian, Prof Chatzaki said: "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."