In the burrows made by the Mygalomorphae, on the contrary, the hinge is strong and highly elastic, its component silken threads being laid on in such a way that the door shuts with a snap when the occupant has passed in or out.
I have unfastened the silken cord from the drapes and knotted it to the gas fixture above.
The second step in the evolution of spinning instincts was probably the making of a silken chamber for the reception of the cocoon itself and for the protection of the mother while guarding it and her newly-hatched young.
As a rule terrestrial spiders guard the cocoon in the permanent burrow, as in the trap-door spiders, or in the silken retreat which acts as a temporary nursery, as in the Salticidae.
They contain round archipelagoes of romantic isles, even as the Polynesian waters do; in large part, are shored by two great contrasting nations, as the Atlantic is; they furnish long maritime approaches to our numerous territorial colonies from the East, dotted all round their banks; here and there are frowned upon by batteries, and by the goat-like craggy guns of lofty Mackinaw; they have heard the fleet thunderings of naval victories; at intervals, they yield their beaches to wild barbarians, whose red painted faces flash from out their peltry wigwams; for leagues and leagues are flanked by ancient and unentered forests, where the gaunt pines stand like serried lines of kings in Gothic genealogies; those same woods harboring wild Afric beasts of prey, and silken creatures whose exported furs give robes to Tartar Emperors; they mirror the paved capitals of Buffalo and Cleveland, as well as Winnebago villages; they float alike the full-rigged merchant ship, the armed cruiser of the State, the steamer, and the beech canoe; they are swept by Borean and dismasting blasts as direful as any that lash the salted wave; they know what shipwrecks are, for out of sight of land, however inland, they have drowned full many a midnight ship with all its shrieking crew.
Some species, however, are alleged to be carnivorous, and a North American form of the genus Hydropsyche is said to spin around the mouth of its burrow a silken net for the capture of small animal organisms living in the water.
When fully grown, the maggot spins an oval silken cocoon within which it pupates (fig.
The queen like to clothe herself in silken garments, and to wear ornaments of gold.
From an anecdote of Aurelian, who neither used silk himself nor would allow his wife to possess a single silken garment, we learn that silk was worth its weight in gold.
Some are nocturnal, some diurnal; some catch their prey by speed of foot, some by cunningly lying hid, some by means of silken nets.