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The 2011 Philippine Biodiversity Expedition 

May 24, 2011

07_cyrtarachnine_araneid

Cyrtarachnine spider, Mt. Banahaw de Lucban  The cyrtarachnines are orb builders (Araneidae) with webs higher modified by evolution for catching moths.  The web is reduced, sometimes to a single line, but incorporates large droplets of ultra-sticky glue.  Moths easily escape from most spiders webs: their scales come off the moth and stick to the glue, allowing the moth to escape: a little balder, but safe.  The ultra-sticky glue of cyrtarachinines defeats the moth’s defense by removing most of the scales and holding the moth fast.  This unidentified species from low forest makes a simple web with few vertical lines.  Many cyrtaracinines produce an airborn chemical that mimics the sex pheromone (like perfume) of common moths: maybe this one does too.  The web was photographed at night, after being dusted with corn starch.


Filed under: — cgriswold @ 5:19 pm

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