Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Leaf-Mimicking Spider

New species of spider that mimics a dried-up leaf, recently discovered in southeast China. From the genus Poltys but not yet named. Via LiveScience.

One of my sons looked at this and said, "I don't like that at all."


G. Verloren said...

That is some potent mimicry.

Reminds me heavily of the scorpion tailed spider, employing the same sort of enlarged abdomen, but the severely assymetrical form is a fascinating new development.

For some reason, I find "tailed" spiders to be significantly less unnerving to look at. Maybe it's something to do with the ratio of leg length to body length? That'd make a lot of sense, as I certainly hate the look of things like whip spiders and whip scorpions.

G. Verloren said...

Upon reflection, I think what amazes me most about this is that these spiders evolved to change their bodies, rather than evolved to change their behavior.

I can't imagine there was anything much stopping them from using actual dead leaves and other debris to hide behind in their webs - other species of spider do exactly that. So is it possible that it was simply "easier", in evolutionary terms, to change their bodies over time rather than to change their behaviors?