Spider creates "decoy" of self

Phil Torres:
It turns out the master designer behind this somewhat creepy form is in fact a tiny spider, only about 5mm in body length, that is hiding behind or above that false, bigger spider made up of debris. After discussing with several spider experts, we've determined it is quite probable that this spider is a never-before-seen species in the genus Cyclosa. This genus is known for having spiders that put debris in their webs to either attract prey or, as in this case, confuse anything trying to eat them.
New Species of 'Decoy' Spider Likely Discovered At Tambopata Research Center [via David Mizejewski]



      1. No, the decoys serve to distract predators, as has been shown in other studies of species Cyclosa. Parasitic wasps target the fake, or fakes, and thus the real spider can get away. Its victims are tiny flying insects that get caught because they blunder into a web they can’t see; the spider pinata would do nothing for them.

    1. okay… but HOW DOES THE SPIDER KNOW WHAT he/she LOOKS LIKE.???

      This demonstrates a degree of self-awareness beyond what I would have ever have attributed to a spider.

      this is unnerving. awesome. but *unnerving*

      [edited for spelling]

      1. The spider knows what it looks like the same way a leaf-mimic insect knows what a leaf looks like. The leaf-mimic insects that didn’t do a good enough job developing into a form that looks like a leaf were eaten up, and the spiders that didn’t do a good enough job mindlessly, mechanically producing a decoy didn’t get enough food to survive.

  1. Really strange, as from the spider’s point of view it wouldn’t look like a spider. Kind of like the Nazca lines.

      1. The Nazca lines, the spider effigy or both? Are the Nazca lines supposed to scare off condors, spirits, gods or aliens? Is the spider trying to scare off predators or is it worshiping the great spider god? One does wonder if only for the sake of suspending disbelief.

        I have to admit the resemblance to the Nazca lines struck me immediately. It either proves that given enough time, nature will produce anything, or that even simple creatures can produce art.

  2. Spidey did this way back in “Amazing Spiderman” #25 when he left behind a web-duplicate of himself trapped in the Spider Slayer robot to fool J.J.J.

    “Does whatever a spider can….”

    1. I’m still waiting for Spidey to paralyze an enemy with his venomous bite.  Maybe it’ll be in the next movie.

    1. Sounds interesting but my initial searches turned up little, could you point us in the right direction?

  3. Soon we’ll find out it was actually a couple of guys with a plank and some rope doing them during the night

  4. Sadly, many will have to die before the new species is formally named. From the article (slightly paraphrased):

    “We think it’s a new species, but to be sure, we’ll have to cut of their junk and study it.”

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