Designing of storage units and spider web collectors for Pholcus phalangiodes for the mass production of spider silk
Danella Rose Ampunan1, Ma. Lorraine Placer1, Katrina Robles1, Laureen Manalo1 and Angelo Olvido1
1Philippine Science High School Western Visayas Campus- Bitoon, Jaro, Iloilo City 5000, Department of Science and Technology, Philippines
Spider silk has been a subject of interest among many researches due to its remarkable mechanical properties. However, existing methods for the extraction of spider silk can exhaust the silk production of spiders and it takes about a week for some spiders to recover lost silk. The purpose of this study is to design and construct storage units for P. phalangioides which allows the spiders to naturally spin their webs for collection. The storage units are composed of 25 units (five by five), painted black on the interior with proper ventilation and spider silk collectors for each of the units on the base. The spiders were properly fed and hydrated, and the collection of silk was done every five days. The percentages of produced spider silk and collected spider silk were obtained and were evaluated using arbitrary levels: from very low (0 percent) to very high (100 percent). A high production of spider silk with a mean average of 82.00 percent was obtained. The spider silk collectors with a very high efficiency value of 98.083 percent, collected a mean average of 80.25 percent of the total area covered by the silk. Additionally, there was no significant difference between experimental groups as determined by one-way ANOVA (p=0 .121); it proves that every storage unit has equal chance of enabling the spider to yield high production of spider silk. The storage units were conducive environments for the spiders to spin their silk. Mimicking the natural habitat of spiders in order for them to yield high production of spider silk was achieved.