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October 23, 2016 8:15 AM   Subscribe

Jumping spiders don't have ears—but they can still hear you coming. This may only apply to hunting spiders. However, orb weavers can control their web’s tension and stiffness to help them identify potential partners as well as prey.

Previous research on jumping spiders determined the frequency response of their leg hairs (includes a cool video of a running spider's shock wave).

Bonus for Never-Jumpers: How To Deal With A Spider Infestation (GIF)

(Spiders previously)
posted by Johnny Wallflower (12 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't much care if spiders can hear me on the move. I would sleep much worse if I could hear them.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:29 AM on October 23, 2016


I was at the spider conference in Colorado where they presented this work, and it was sensational. At some level, I expected that spiders respond to sound since they are very much geared to approach a world of vibrations, but it was startling to see the way the brain recordings changed at different stimuli. The best recording was one where they played a sound at the frequency of the wing beat of a wasp, and the spider froze! Never seen anything like that before (I work with the same species). A couple of months later I was idly watching the movement of jumping spider on the ground when the dog barked, and I swear the spider paused in response, instantly reminding me of that talk.
posted by dhruva at 10:18 AM on October 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yelling at a spider
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:52 AM on October 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


How did they keep the spiders from exploding, dhruva?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:18 PM on October 23, 2016


They just made a very tiny hole. Previous attempts at recordings from the brain failed because the hole was too big and this led to a collapse in internal pressure.
posted by dhruva at 6:32 PM on October 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


From Australia, of course: Huge huntsman spider tries to eat a mouse – video
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:36 PM on October 23, 2016


I have experimented with touching a web with a piece of grass or a stick, and most spiders absolutely ignore it, seeming to clearly know the difference between my trolling and real food.
posted by RedEmma at 7:16 AM on October 24, 2016


Also, I have thrown a dead insect into a web, and they ignore that as well. So, yeah.
posted by RedEmma at 7:16 AM on October 24, 2016


Spiders are often portrayed in a negative light. Take the phrase "web of lies."
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:35 AM on October 24, 2016


Here is my own Bitty (a jumping spider, hybrid Phidippus regius/otiosus) reacting to a door latch sound she had learned to associate with being bothered. Sadly she passed away recently.

Here is Skitty, a Hyllus diardi jumping spider (probably the largest species) being talked to like a cat.

They absolutely do react to me doing stuff across the room, though some are more chill about it than others.
posted by melissam at 11:18 AM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Here is my own Bitty yt

"This video is private."
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:32 PM on October 24, 2016


Both videos work for me.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:41 PM on October 24, 2016


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