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.