Nature & Environment
Pack-hunting spiders detect vibrations and swarm their prey
By T.K. Randall
March 8, 2022 · 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
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