How an Australian spider uses its web as a fishing net
A long-jawed orb-weaver spider has uses its web to catch aquatic insects
An Australian spider has been found to use its web as a fishing net to catch their prey
Various species long-jawed orb-weavers are well known to construct their webs near to ponds and streams. But the new observations, published in Ethology, show that at least one sets snares that are in direct contact with the water, allowing them to catch water striders and other insects that live on the surface.
John Gould, who led the work at Australia’s University of Newcastle, says it’s not yet clear whether the webs are attached to structures below the surface, to floating algae or directly to the water itself. “We suspect that it is a combination of these attachment points that are used in conjunction,” he says.
According to Geoff Oxford of the British Arachnological Society, the UK is home to several species of long-jawed orb-weavers, at least two of which are associated with water. “It would be worth looking out for this phenomenon,” he says.
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Main image © John Gould email@example.com.
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