Spider constructs fake spider to fool enemies

Posted: December 24, 2012 in Amazon, Cyclosa, Nature, Peru, predation, Spiders, Tambopata Research Center

spiderfake

This isn’t a real spider. It’s a decoy spider built from twigs, leaves, debris and dead insects.

Researchers discovered the spider in the Peruvian Amazon, and even though its decoy looks like a medium-sized spider that’s about an inch across, the impressive fake was actually made by a tiny, tricky 5-millimeter spider. That spider behind the curtain is probably, the researchers say, a new species of Cyclosa, a genus known to pull similar stunts. But those creations are relatively un-spider-like–nothing at this level of detail. The smaller builder-spider even moves back and forth, giving the impression that the decoy spider is moving and, in the process, confusing predators into attacking the decoy instead.

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-12/spider-builds-fake-spiders-psych-out-predators

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