The conical to cylindrical or spiralling, cocoon-like structure of a Nemoscolus or stone-nest spider’s home is studded with small stones and plant debris, held together by the silky threads spun by the spider. A remarkable piece of real estate in a time when the earth is becoming a bit small for some. This option may compete well with living on the moon or Mars.
The stone-nest in picture was seen near Oudtshoorn, adorned with snazzy curving tip, like a festive season hat. The opening is at the wide end. The structure is used as shelter for its builders and for storage of their eggs.
The nest is attached to the spider’s flat orb, sometimes conical web, suspended in the air in a gap between bushes. Design expertise is widely distributed among many species living on earth (Wikipedia; www.arc.agric.za; http://www.saeon.ac.za).