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Plants and Animals

Madagascan Spider Observed Sewing Leaves Together To Create Tempting Trap for Frogs

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When we think of spiders, we often imagine nets but silk-spinning arachnids use this super-strong substance in all ways. Spidey silk comes in all shapes and sizes, from ogre-face spider prey to nets (which can be heard with its feet) to bola spider-throwing lassos.

Now, new research has discovered an even more amazing way to use spider silk, such as a species from Madagascar found sewing leaves together that seem to be a trap for prey, especially an unfortunate frog. This unusual sight, described in the journal Ecology and Evolution, was an incidental finding made by a researcher conducting an ecological survey in Madagascar.  One morning after finishing counting the points of a bird at Ambodiala they would feed both a spider (Sparassidae, Damascus sp.) feeding on an amphibian. The invertebrates fed to the vertebrates are not heard; as was the case with the unfortunate consequences of a pygmy probability, but the researchers consider their report to be one of only two to describe such a predictable event in Madagascar.

The same spider species was seen on three more occasions, in vanilla tree gardens across much of the region. The most interesting thing about all of them is that the spiders were sewn together with silk; the leaves were ted near the back or inside. The retreats were presented regionally which seemed to be the cool abode of the hot frogs caught in the Madagascan sun but they did not know that a spider was jumping inside and waiting. 

When the researchers proceeded to take the picture, the first spider that was seen eating the frog was told to return its leaves to a hiding place. Other spiders were either near or inside the backbone of similar vegetables and spiders did not seem to be a priority for tree species, as the leaves of different trees were used for backyard crafting. But their attachment is that they all showed evidence of sewing together with spider silk.

The authors wrote in the paper, “When the temperature rises, the frogs look for shade and cover away from the soil, which the spiders provide in the form of their repulsion.” “Frogs can support seemingly protected nets in an attempt to hide from other predators, such as birds scanning plants for prey … We speculate that both amphibians may not only be opportunistic, arbitrary, or accidental prey, but rather a targeted systematically absorbed food source of Damascus SP. Spiders.”

The researchers acknowledged the limitations in the study because only a single observation was made of a spider feeding on a frog. They also recognize that large prey items such as frogs are easily identified by the human eye and should not be considered as evidence of common behavior. Rarely, however, have silk spinners embroidered their skills to be undoubtedly great.