8-Legged Spider Found to Make Decoys Using Dead Insects

Geo Beats
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Two recent discoveries on opposite ends of the globe show tiny spiders measuring just a few millimeters creating 30-millimeter spider replicas you have to see to believe.

Some spiders spin pretty amazing designs on their webs. Still, two recent discoveries on opposite ends of the globe show tiny spiders measuring just a few millimeters creating 30-millimeter spider replicas you have to see to believe.

In 2012, entomologist Phil Torres stumbled across a Cyclosa spider hiding inside a huge fake 8-legged decoy sitting in a web in Peru. Also in 2012, entomologist Lary Reeves found one doing the same in the Philippines – 11,000 miles away from Peru.

Torres and Reeves both believe the spiders build these larger spiders as a form of self-defense. They not only appear threatening to potential enemies, but also act as camouflage for the spiders themselves.

While researchers still have many questions to be answered through future research and genetic sequencing, they do know these decoys seem to all be made of dead insect bodies, along with leaves and other jungle debris. One inventive spider even used his own shed skin.

Also, each of the two species discovered so far has a unique way to build the decoys – in Peru, the legs point downwards while in the Philippines, the legs sprawl in all directions around the body.

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