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New species of spider builds decoy of itself

December 20th, 2012 by Owen Quinn Comments

The world is full of amazing creatures and a new species of spider discovered in the Peruvian Amazon is up there with the best of them…

The spider is of the genus Cyclosa species and builds a fake spider from leaves and debris much larger than itself.

Phil Torres, a biologist and science educator has told of the find in his blog. The spider creates a replica spider, complete with legs, in its web to ward off potential predators and acts as a defence mechanism.

This little spider is striped and less than a quarter of an inch long and Torres reports that the first time they saw the phenomenon, they saw the decoy spider move in the web. On closer examination they saw the smaller spider hiding above the decoy, shaking the web to give the illusion that the bigger one was actually reacting to the humans. Although spiders can weave intricate geometric shapes in their webs, the fact that one can actually replicate a dummy spider to keep itself safe is a mind-blowing situation.

They also discovered that there were many other spiders in the area doing the same thing. Some make their spiders look like tiny octopus but there has never been anything like it recorded before in the spider kingdom before. Could arachnids be more intelligent than we think? Could Kingdom of the Spiders come to pass?


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Husband, dad and Ireland's hardest working author, Owen Quinn is currently knee deep in The Time Warriors, arguably the biggest sci-fi epic ever to come out of Ireland. He has an unhealthy interest in Doctor Who, classic TV and Star Wars, he also hangs around with the Emerald Garrison far toooo much. Is it any wonder he fits in at FTN so well? Find Owen at the