Visitor:
AR Philosophy > Morality of AR > Speciesism
Spider Sculpts Fake Spider

full story and comments: http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/33747/title/Spider-Sculpts-Fake-Spider/

A putative new species of spider found in the Peruvian Amazon uses forest debris to weave sculptures that resemble a giant spider into its web.



By Dan Cossins |December 19, 2012

Some species of spider are known to weave elaborate patterns into their webs, but a newly discovered spider in the Peruvian Amazon tops them all�by sculpting what appears to be a giant mock spider from dead insects, leaves, and other forest debris. Believed to be a new species in the genus Cyclosa, which includes spiders known to build web structures, the 5-mm-long spider may use the decoy to confuse predators.

Biologist and science educator Phil Torres spotted the unusual behavior while leading visitors around a floodplain near Peru�s Tambopata Research Center. He contacted arachnid expert Linda Rayor of Cornell University in New York, who confirmed that the construction of spider-shaped decoys has never previously been observed.

�I have never seen a structure just like this,� William Eberhard, an entomologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the University of Costa Rica, told Wired, though he noted that identifying the spider as new species based on the decoy-building behavior alone is probably not possible.

Torres plans to return to the same area in January with a permit to collect specimens, which will help to verify whether or not the decoy builder is indeed a new species.



Fair Use Notice and Disclaimer
Send questions or comments about this web site to Ann Berlin, annxtberlin@gmail.com