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Underside of female redback, showing the supposedly hour-glass shaped marking
The redback's web is an untidy-looking affair. The spider lives in a funnel-shaped part near the top. The bottom of the web is attached to the ground by sticky snare threads. When an insect or other small animal blunders into one of these, the thread breaks and springs up towards the main web. The spider then rushes down and spins loops of thread around the creature, tying it up. She doesn't enclose it completely in a little bag in the manner of the spiders of Mirkwood, but does bind it firmly enough to prevent its escape.