The Eight Legged Ninja🕷

Spiders have a lot of time to themselves, especially the web - weaving variety which spend a large portion of their life simply just waiting for prey high upon their suspended sticky death traps. Aside from the social huntsman spider Delena cancerides (and a few other varieties), they're very unsociable creatures, even to their own kind, and we all know how they like to treat their partners. Because of all this free time, some spiders have found some seriously cool ways of hunting prey.

Of course, it's not their boredom or lack of hobbies that account for the difference in hunting techniques. This comes down to a number of varied factors within the animal kingdom, including the environment, genetic structure and other variables we won't get into here.

What I want to talk about today, is the Bolas Spider, specifically the female variant. This incredibly small Headcrab looking specimen resides mainly within caves and wooded areas. They prey exclusively on moths and other flying bugs. Although the males are magnificent in their own right, they don't employ the same hunting technique which gives the Bolas Spider their well - deserved name.

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The spider has a very peculiar way in which it hunts insects. One thing that really sets it apart from other groups is the fact that Bolas Spiders secrete a pheromone to attract their lunch and will start creating a special web strand when an insect is close by.

Using the web, the spider will construct a makeshift bolas with a strong sticky glob on the end. Sadly, it's not as spectacular as completely lassoing the prey in a winding fashion, but it's still quite incredible.

This suggests that their eyesight and 'hearing' are on a heightened scale compared to most of their other eight legged brethren, especially seeing as they can detect flying insects from a distance. When you think about the acute precision and accuracy it would need to pull this off, especially seeing as many species of arachnids are renowned for having such poor eyesight, you start to see how those eight eyes can really come in handy.

Even more so, Bolas spiders are one of the only forms of arachnid which are poisonous (not venomous) due to the nasty bile they secrete as a defense and to attract prey. It doesn't seem like a significant point, but it just highlights the crazy and unique biology of these little critters.


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