synchronized spiders
March 8, 2022 7:44 AM   Subscribe

These tiny spiders perform a synchronized pop-and-lock 'dance' as they hunt "These spiders capture the most prey when they synchronize their movements. More specifically, the arachnids perform a pop-and-lock-style “dance” in which each animal starts and stops quickly, and at the same time."
posted by dhruva (10 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Very cool. Also, reading carefully is very cool. For example:

"Finding them is easy. You can’t miss their enormous, shimmering webs along the roadsides in French Guiana, a French territory slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Indiana, located on the northeastern tip of South America."

The way my browser wrapped the text in this paragraph caused me some concern about their "enormous shimmering webs along the roadsides in French Guiana.... ....slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Indiana"
posted by shenkerism at 8:57 AM on March 8, 2022 [7 favorites]

From the Science article:
Most adult spiders live as loners, but members of the species Anelosimus eximius form colonies by the thousands. These tiny red spiders are smaller than the eraser on a pencil, but they work together to build nonstick webs that can span meters. When a moth, grasshopper, or other insect falls into the web, a mob of spiders must descend on it quickly before it can escape.

This creepy crawly cohort moves toward its prey in stop motion: The spiders pause, then rush forward in unison, then pause again. The staccato approach allows the spiders to sense their prey’s vibrations and synchronize the hunting party’s arrival.
So, the typical human reaction would be: NOPE (cha cha cha) NOPE (cha cha cha) NOPE (cha cha cha)?
posted by cenoxo at 9:26 AM on March 8, 2022 [5 favorites]

Thought this is being touted as a new finding, I must add that this behaviour has been known since the 90s at least. The cool thing about this work is that "We showed that an individual's decision to move depends on the relative intensity of vibrations emitted by the prey and the moving spiders. "
posted by dhruva at 9:36 AM on March 8, 2022 [4 favorites]

Reminds me of cats sneaking up.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:07 AM on March 8, 2022 [3 favorites]

They should me making the 'dut... dut.... dut.... dut...." sound from the old Space Invaders game
posted by The otter lady at 11:12 AM on March 8, 2022

Okay so it’s less stoat-dancing and more “Blindsight.”
posted by Mister Moofoo at 12:59 PM on March 8, 2022 [3 favorites]

Extremely cool and helped make my day, thanks for posting!
posted by coolname at 3:47 PM on March 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'm pretty cool with spiders in general, but a pack of them performing the Haka is not something I am on board with.
posted by raider at 5:37 PM on March 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

Non-paywall NatGeo link.
posted by bendy at 9:50 PM on March 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

Are there webs pictured in the first link? Please think about including a web-warning. Some of us are phobic.
posted by BostonTerrier at 11:53 AM on March 9, 2022

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