Showing posts with label spiders. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spiders. Show all posts

Insect Population Measured by DNA Analysis of Spider Webs

Spider webs are advanced pieces of evolutionary engineering. They are also collecting vats for what lives in the neighborhood. The DNA of what a spider had for dinner remains on the web for months.
Black widow spider catching a lizard on its web
Silk from spiders webs is in demand for potential pest management, conservation, biodiversity monitoring and biogeography. It is a natural source of accumulated data and analysis of it is informative. If the DNA makeup of a web changes then something is wrong.

In the tests, black widow spiders were kept alive by feeding them with crickets. When a spider died its DNA remained on the web for 88 days. In the wild, the net of the web catches insects, small animals and flora debris.

Going out and getting some web silk is proving to be a valuable way of monitoring changes in spider populations, particularly when new species move into an area. Importantly, an eye can be kept on those on the endangered list. The method is only good for small animals because large ones
take the whole web with them.
Biology by Ty Buchanan
            Australian Blog   Adventure Australia
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#black   #widow   #spiders   #silk   #insects   #hunt   #prey   #food   #dna  
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Spiders Go Ballooning

Things have been falling from the sky for centuries. The usual things are frogs and fish. However, some odd things fell to earth in times past. A Roman era pillar was seen to settle gently on the ground. Unfortunately, this was not proven as fact. It could have happened, though.
Balloning spiders babies of larger species
Apparently, spiders covered farms in the Southern Tablelands. They have been appearing there for some time now. The occurrence has only just been announced. Threads from the webs is what people usually see, not so much the spiders themselves. You have to look closer to see the tiny spiders floating along with the webs.

This happens all over the world. We just don't notice the arachnids sticking up their rear ends, pumping out silk and floating off into the blue yonder. It has a name: ballooning.  Spiders do this as a group taking off from an isolated spot and landing in another. The weather has to be in a specific condition for this to take place.

Small spiders and babies of larger species partake in ballooning usually in autumn and spring in Australia. Some scientists say that it is possible for an involuntary exodus to another place to happen. The arachnids are so small a strong gust of winds could sweep them up.
Science by Ty Buchanan
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            Australian Blog   Adventure Australia

Spiders Eat Fish

It is commonly believed that spiders are land dwelling creatures that eat air breathing prey. However, this is a misconception. New research shows certain spiders eat fish.

These spiders exist on all continents except Antarctica. No less than eight kinds of spider consume fish up to twice their size. they also eat amphibians, mice, bats and birds.

The diving bell spiders lives underwater. Many spiders live on the edge of water bodies and will eat just about anything that can be caught. Some fish they catch are very large indeed. Spiders take the chance of a rough fight because nearly all of a fish is edible.

They hunt by holding on to something solid on the land with two of their rear legs. When a fish actually touches one of the six legs in the water the spider pounces completely leaving the land and bites the fish on the neck.

We do not know everything about nature. Much of the living habits of animals is still unknown. As time goes on and data are accumulated we will know more but never all of it.
Ethology by Ty Buchanan
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City Spiders Are Larger

Many animals do better when they live alongside humans. One seldom thinks of spiders though. If you travel overseas you soon discover the huge spiders in rented accommodation. Research has shown that these frightening but usually friendly creatures do grow larger in warm homes.

They don't have to be living inside the houses either. Just staying close to warm building is sufficient. The golden orb spider was placed in particular external environment and data were collected. Those near buildings were larger and fatter than their bush cousins. Living in the middle of a car park with the heat given off by cars made them bigger as well.

Though many people fear them, urban spiders are harmless. They keep pest insects in check. If they weren't there, we would probably be "eaten alive" by flies and gnats. Rather than spraying and crushing them, put them outside and send them on their way.
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