20 December 2012
Flora Graham, deputy editor,
(Image: Phil Torres)
Hanging out in the jungles of Peru can be a dangerous pastime for a spider – how do you dodge predators while casting your web in the open? A newly spied type of Cyclosa spider has come up with a solution – hide behind a giant, fake version of yourself.
“From afar, it appears to be a medium-sized spider about an inch across, possibly dead and dried out, hanging in the centre of a spider web along the side of the trail,” he says. “Step in even closer and things start to get weird – that spider form you were looking at is actually made up of tiny bits of leaf, debris and dead insects.”
Upon closer examination, Torres spotted a tiny, 5-millimetre spider hiding behind its doppelganger.