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Nature & Environment

Pack-hunting spiders detect vibrations and swarm their prey

By T.K. Randall
March 8, 2022 · Comment icon 3 comments

You don't want to run into one of their webs... Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Bernard DUPONT
As if one spider wasn't bad enough - imagine being set upon by 1,000 of them in a giant web...
While the overwhelmingly vast majority of spiders lead solitary lives, there do exist a small number of spider species which operate in colonies and which work together to catch and kill prey.

One example is Anelosimus eximius - a South American species that can be found in colonies of up to 1,000 individuals which work collectively to build huge webs measuring several meters across.

In a recent study, scientists closely examined the behavior of these spiders and found that they were able to co-ordinate their attacks so that when a large animal strayed into their web, they were able to work effectively together to take it down.
The colony has no designated leader - with each spider instead co-ordinating its attack with the others using the vibrations in the web to choreograph a synchronized swarming process.

The attack itself is vicious and calculated, with the spiders moving onto the prey and attacking it all at the same time to overwhelm it.

Suffice to say, inadvertently walking into one of their webs would be the stuff of nightmares.

Source: Live Science | Comments (3)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by HandsomeGorilla 2 years ago
Alright, as your resident arachnid enthusiast, I once again would like to clear a few things up Headlines about spiders are, more often than not, misleading or fear provoking. This one would fuel nightmares in arachnophobes, thinking these spiders would trap you in a giant, communal web and they'd all gather around to consume you lol. Another recent media trend is with the Joro spider of the Trichonephila genus, making it seem like they're giant, dangerous, invasive critters with a goal of dominating the country.  The great majority of spiders are lone wolves and pretty cannabilistic. These a... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by jethrofloyd 2 years ago
Comment icon #3 Posted by Alchopwn 2 years ago
Australia doesn't have Angels and Devils, the spiders and snakes got them. 

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