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Veil of spider webs cover Gippsland after heavy rain

Mark DeBono, Friday June 21, 2013 - 13:36 EST
ABC image
The spider web veil covers hectares of flooded grassland in some parts of the Sale wetlands. - ABC

Torrential rain across Gippsland has stirred the local spider population into a web-making frenzy.

The local wetlands between Sale and Longford had nearly dried out before the rains hit last Wednesday and the drier conditions prompted a flush of new growth.

But since the rain started, rising floodwater from the Latrobe and Thomson Rivers has pushed the linyphidea spiders off ground level and up onto drier territory on the top of the grass tussocks, onto fences and into the trees.

In some parts of the wetlands, the web veil covers hectares of flooded grassland.

Dr Ken Walker of the Melbourne Museum says the so-called gossamer effect can be attributed in part due to the damp settled weather conditions.

He says the webs, which are usually so fine they are hard to see, are normally dispersed by the wind.

The town of Sale is close to the confluence of the Latrobe and Thomson Rivers which both flood regularly at times of high rainfall.

The area had about 120 millimetres of rain in a week.


© ABC 2013

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