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PERU-The mystery of how the white picket fence structures appeared in the Peruvian Amazon in June has been solved.

They are the work of a tiny spider that builds it webs on trails lined by cecropia trees in Tambopata National Reserve, Peru. Researchers had no idea what was making the unique webs until a tiny orange spider hatched from an egg next to them. Arachnologists and entomologists are now working to identify which species the spider belongs to.

Although the spider looks similar to a jumping spider, experts have ruled this out because the arrangement of the eyes were different between the families.

This latest discovery was made by wildlife photographer Jeff Cremer during an eight-day-long expedition to the reserve.  He found that the spider species makes a central tower on a tree trunk and forms a circular fence around the outside.

At the base of the tower, the spider lays its eggs. Cremer and his team said they only realised this was the case when one of the spiders hatched and appeared from the bottom.

The first of the structures was spotted in June by Troy Alexander, a graduate student at Georgia Tech.

Alexander discovered the bizarre formation on the bottom of some blue tarpaulin close to the Tambopata Research Center, in southeastern Peru.

He then found three more of the enclosures on tree trunks in the jungle, and told Wired.com that the fences measured around two centimeters across.

To discover what the structures were, or which creature had made them, Alexander posted pictures on various websites asking for any detail that could explain their origin.  Phil Torres, a biologist  from Tambopata, posted a link on Twitter to the pictures, equally baffled as to their origin.

Cremer, 35, is from Pueblo in Colorado, but has lived in Peru for nearly eight years. He said: ‘We were there on a scientific expedition to find out what was making these strange web structures.

‘This was the first expedition to find out what they were. We were able to find out what was making the web structures when some of the eggs inside the towers hatched and a tiny spider came out.’

As well as trying to determine the species, researchers still want to discover why the spiders build the structures, and what they are used for.