Current Spiders News and Events

Current Spiders News and Events, Spiders News Articles.
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King of the Cave: New centipede on top of the food chain in the sulphurous-soaked Movile
A new species of endemic, troglobiont centipede was discovered by an international team of scientists in the Romanian cave Movile: a unique underground ecosystem, isolated several millions years ago during the Neogene, whose animal life only exists because of the chemosynthetic bacteria. As the largest Movile's inhabitant, the new species can easily be crowned as the 'king' of this 'hellish' ecosystem. Aptly named Cryptops speleorex, the cave-dweller is described in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal ZooKeys. (2020-12-16)

Spiders in space: without gravity, light becomes key to orientation
Humans have taken spiders into space more than once to study the importance of gravity to their web-building. What originally began as a somewhat unsuccessful PR experiment for high school students has yielded the surprising insight that light plays a larger role in arachnid orientation than previously thought. (2020-12-09)

Study finds false widow spiders bite can transmit harmful antibiotic-resistant bacteria
A team of zoologists and microbiologists from NUI Galway have published a new study showing that common house spiders carry bacteria susceptible to infect people, with the Noble False Widow spiders also carrying harmful strains resistant to common antibiotic treatments. (2020-12-01)

Environmental factors affect the distribution of Iberian spiders
Southern small-leaved oak forests are the habitats with a higher level of spider endemism in the Iberian Peninsula, according to an article published in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation. The study analyses the factors that affect biodiversity patterns of spider communities in the national park network of Spain, and explains the role of the environmental factors in the distribution of the biodiversity of this faunistic group in the peninsular territory. (2020-11-09)

A 520-million-year-old five-eyed fossil reveals arthropod origin
Researchers from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIGPAS) have discovered a shrimp-like fossil with five eyes, which has provided important insights into the early evolutionary history of arthropods. (2020-11-04)

These spiders can hear
Ogre-faced spiders hide during the day and hunt by night, dangling from palm fronds and casting nets on insects. Researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on October 29 have discovered that they can hear their predators and prey, using specialized receptors to pick up sounds from at least 2 meters away. The results suggest that spiders can hear low frequency sounds from insect prey as well as higher frequency sounds from bird predators. (2020-10-29)

Buzz kill: Ogre-faced spiders 'hear' airborne prey with their legs
In the dark of night, ogre-faced spiders with dominating big eyes dangle from a silk frame to cast a web and capture their ground prey. But these spiders also can capture insects flying behind them with precision, and Cornell University scientists have now confirmed how. (2020-10-29)

A new species of Darwin wasp from Mexico named in observance of the 2020 quarantine period
Scientists at the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas in Mexico recently discovered five new species of parasitoid wasps in Mexico, but the name of one of them is quite striking: covida. Described in a new paper, published in the peer-reviewed, open-access scientific journal ZooKeys, the new to science Darwin wasp was identified during the 2020 global quarantine period, imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (2020-10-08)

Scientists discover why tarantulas come in vivid blues and greens
Researchers from Yale-NUS College and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) find support for new hypotheses: that tarantulas' vibrant blue colours may be used to communicate between potential mates, while green colouration confers the ability to conceal among foliage. Their research also suggests that tarantulas are not as colour-blind as previously believed, and that these arachnids may be able to perceive the bright blue tones on their bodies. (2020-09-24)

Giant spider provides promise of pain relief for irritable bowel syndrome
Molecules from the venom of one of the world's largest spiders could help University of Queensland-led researchers tailor pain blockers for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). (2020-09-20)

A new species of spider
During a research stay in the highlands of Colombia conducted as part of her doctorate, Charlotte Hopfe, PhD student at the University of Bayreuth, has discovered and zoologically described a new species of spider. (2020-09-16)

Flies and mosquitoes beware, here comes the slingshot spider
Running into an unseen spiderweb in the woods can be scary enough, but what if you had to worry about a spiderweb - and the spider - being catapulted at you? That's what happens to insects in the Amazon rain forests of Peru, where a tiny slingshot spider launches a web - and itself - to catch unsuspecting flies and mosquitoes. (2020-08-17)

Insect diversity boosted by combination of crop diversity and semi-natural habitats
To enhance the number of beneficial insect species in agricultural land, preserving semi-natural habitats and promoting crop diversity are both needed, according to new research published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied of Ecology. (2020-08-13)

How Venus flytraps snap
Venus flytraps catch spiders and insects by snapping their trap leaves. This mechanism is activated when unsuspecting prey touch highly sensitive trigger hairs twice within 30 seconds. A study led by researchers at the University of Zurich has now shown that a single slow touch also triggers trap closure - probably to catch slow-moving larvae and snails. (2020-07-10)

Spider silk made by photosynthetic bacteria
A research team in Japan reported that they succeeded in producing the spider silk -- ultra-lightweight, though, biodegradable and biocompatible material -- using photosynthetic bacteria. This study will open a new era in which bio-factories stably output the bulk of spider silk. (2020-07-08)

Researchers from University of Turku have described over 40 new species in 2020
The researchers at the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku are specialised in studying poorly known species habiting some of the most remote places on earth. As a result of their scientific expeditions, the researchers constantly discover species that are unknown to science. One of the most recent discoveries is a spider which was named after actor Joaquin Phoenix and his famous portrayal of the Joker character. (2020-07-01)

Spider silk can create lenses useful for biological imaging
Spider silk is useful for a variety of biomedical applications: It exhibits mechanical properties superior to synthetic fibers for tissue engineering, and it is not toxic or harmful to living cells. One unexpected application for spider silk is its use in the creation of biocompatible lenses for biological imaging applications. Researchers describe the feasibility of creating lenses capitalizing on the properties of natural spider silk material in the Journal of Applied Physics. (2020-06-30)

Spider baby boom in a warmer Arctic
Climate change leads to longer growing seasons in the Arctic. A new study, which has just been published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, shows that predators like wolf spiders respond to the changing conditions and have been able to produce two clutches of offspring during the short Arctic summer. The greater number of spiders may influence the food chains in Greenland. (2020-06-25)

What makes a giant jellyfish's sting deadly
With summer on the way, and some beaches reopening after COVID-19 shutdowns, people will be taking to the ocean to cool off on a hot day. But those unlucky enough to encounter the giant jellyfish Nemopilema nomurai (also known as Nomura's jellyfish) might wish they had stayed on shore. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Journal of Proteome Research have identified the key toxins that make the creature's venom deadly to some swimmers. (2020-06-10)

Peculiar behavior of the beetle Toramus larvae
When studying the larval morphology of Toramini (Coleoptera: Erotylidae) we found that larvae of the genus Toramus attach their exuviae to their distal abdomen, with each exuvia from the preceding instar attached to the next to form a vertical pile. Exuvial attachment is facilitated by modified hook-like setae with flattened shafts inserted into the exuvia of the previous instar. We discuss the possibility that the exuvial attachment serves as a kind of autotomy -- ''exuvial autotomy''. (2020-05-21)

Following the insect meltdown, numbers of orb web spiders have drastically declined
The abundance of large orb web spiders in the Swiss midland has declined drastically over the last 40 years. The main reason for this is the shrinking food supply available to these insectivorous animals. This is demonstrated in a study conducted by researchers from the University of Basel and Ghent University (Belgium), as reported in the scientific journal Insects. (2020-04-23)

Spider combs tame unruly nanofibers (video)
Cribellate spiders spin thousands of tiny nanofibers into sticky threads. To keep from getting caught in their own webs, these spiders use a nonstick comb on their back legs. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Applied Nano Materials have patterned an antiadhesive nanostructure inspired by this comb onto a foil surface, creating a handy tool to control sticky lab-made nanomaterials for medical, smart textile and other applications. (2020-04-22)

Stream pollution from mountaintop mining doesn't stay put in the water
Since the 1980s, a mountaintop mine in West Virginia has been leaching selenium into nearby streams at levels deemed unsafe for aquatic life. Now, even though the mine is closed, a Duke University-led study finds high concentrations of selenium in emerging stream insects and the spiders that eat them along the banks, an indication that the contaminant moves from water to land as it moves up the food chain. (2020-04-06)

Paleontology: Fossil trove sheds light on ancient antipodean ecology
The oldest known animals and plants preserved in amber from Southern Gondwana are reported in Scientific Reports this week. Gondwana, the supercontinent made up of South America, Africa, Madagascar, India, Antarctica and Australia, broke away from the Pangea supercontinent around 200 million years ago. The findings further our understanding of ecology in Australia and New Zealand during the Late Triassic to mid-Paleogene periods (230-40 million years ago). (2020-04-02)

Untangling the social lives of spiders
Scientists begin to unravel the genetic mechanism by which a solitary spider becomes a social one. (2020-03-31)

Gene loss more important in animal kingdom evolution than previously thought
Scientists have shown that some key points of animal evolution -- like the ones leading to humans or insects -- were associated with a large loss of genes in the genome. The study, published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, compared over 100 genomes to investigate what happened at the gene level during the evolution of animals after their origin. (2020-02-27)

Early worm lost lower limbs for tube-dwelling lifestyle
Scientists have discovered the earliest known example of an animal evolving to lose body parts it no longer needed. (2020-02-27)

Freshwater insects recover while spiders decline in UK
Many insects, mosses and lichens in the UK are bucking the trend of biodiversity loss, according to a comprehensive analysis of over 5,000 species led by UCL and the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH), and published in Nature Ecology & Evolution. (2020-02-17)

Orb-weaver spiders' yellow and black pattern helps them lure prey
Being inconspicuous might seem the best strategy for spiders to catch potential prey in their webs, but many orb-web spiders, which hunt in this way, are brightly coloured. New research finds their distinct yellow and black pattern is actually essential in luring prey. The findings are published in the British Ecological Society journal: Functional Ecology. (2020-02-11)

French mathematician and spider aficionado Cédric Villani honoured with a new orb-weaver
Considered as one of the best studied spiders, the orb-weavers remain poorly known in the central parts of the Palearctic ecozone. Hence, an international research team took to the Caucasus, Middle East and Central Asia. Their article in the open-access peer-reviewed journal ZooKeys documents three new to science species, where one is named after the Indo-Iranian god of light Mithra. Another carries the name of the flamboyant French mathematician and spider aficionado Cédric Villani. (2020-02-03)

Global study finds predators are most likely to be lost when habitats are converted for human use
A first of its kind, global study on the impacts of human land-use on different groups of animals has found that predators, especially small invertebrates like spiders and ladybirds, are the most likely to be lost when natural habitats are converted to agricultural land or towns and cities. The findings are published in the British Ecological Society journal Functional Ecology. (2020-01-21)

New study reveals a life aquatic for many spider species
Researchers at the California Academy of Sciences and William Paterson University found that nearly one fifth of all spider families are associated with saltwater or freshwater aquatic habitats. Their findings--recently published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society and aptly titled 'The Life Aquatic with Spiders'--address the common misconception that all spiders dwell on land, and reveal surprising evolutionary pathways of this group from a land-based existence back to a water-based existence. (2020-01-21)

Cave fights for food: Voracious spiders vs. assassin bugs
Killing and eating of potential competitors has rarely been documented in the zoological literature, even though this type of interaction can affect population dynamics. In a recent publication in the open-access journal Subterranean Biology, Brazilian scientists presented their notes regarding the predation of an assassin bug by a spider in neotropical caves. Underground, where food resources are scarce, such events might be possible as a result of ecological pressures imposed by the hostile environment, hypothesize the researchers. (2020-01-20)

New parasitoid wasp species discovered in the Amazon -- can manipulate host's behavior
A research group from the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku studies the diversity of parasitoid insects around the world. Parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera) are one of the most species rich animal taxa on Earth, but their tropical diversity is still poorly known. In the latest study, the group discovered 15 new, sizable species that parasitize spiders in the lowland rainforests of the Amazon and the cloud forests of the Andes. (2020-01-14)

The mathematics of prey detection in spider orb-webs
Spider webs are one of nature's most fascinating manifestations. Many spiders extrude proteinaceous silk to weave sticky webs that ensnare unsuspecting prey who venture into their threads. Despite their elasticity, these webs possess incredible tensile strength. In an article publishing this week in the SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, Alexandre Kawano and Antonino Morassi present a theoretical mechanical model to study the inverse problem of source identification and localize a prey in a spider orb-web. (2019-12-12)

Gardens can be havens for soil animals in towns and cities
The fifth edition of the Dutch Soil Animal Days saw earthworms almost grab top spot thanks to the wet autumn weather. But at the end of the day, woodlice once again emerged as the most-observed soil animal in Dutch gardens. Nearly 1000 'citizen scientists' sent in their observations this year. And a surprisingly high number of people tried to do something in return for the vital services these soil creatures provide for us. (2019-12-12)

'Safety signals' may help slow down anxiety
For as many as one in three people, life events or situations that pose no real danger can spark a disabling fear, a hallmark of anxiety and stress-related disorders. Researchers at Yale University and Weill Cornell Medicine report on a novel way that could help combat such anxiety. In humans and in mice, a 'safety signal' -- a symbol or a sound that is never associated with adverse events -- can relieve anxiety through an entirely different brain network than that activated by existing behavioral therapy. (2019-12-09)

Tiny woodlands are more important than previously thought
Small woodlands in farmland have more benefits for humans per area, compared to large forests according to a new study. The small woodlands, sometimes even smaller than a football field, can easily go unnoticed in agricultural landscapes. Yet, these small forest remnants can store more carbon in the topsoil layer, are more suitable for hunting activities and host fewer ticks than large forests. (2019-12-02)

Spiders and ants inspire a metallic structure that refuses to sink
University of Rochester researchers have created a metallic structure that is so hydrophobic, it refuses to sink - no matter how often it is forced into water or how much it is damaged or punctured. Possible applications include unsinkable ships and wearable flotation devices that will still float after being punctured. (2019-11-06)

Helpful insects and landscape changes
We might not notice them, but the crops farmers grow are protected by scores of tiny invertebrate bodyguards. Naturally occurring arthropods like spiders and lady beetles patrol crop fields looking for insects to eat. These natural enemies keep pests under control, making it easier to grow the crops we depend on. (2019-11-05)

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