Spider That Builds Decoys Spotted in Amazon Forest

First Posted: Dec 20, 2012 01:30 AM EST

A peculiar spider has been uncovered in the Peruvian Amazon forest that settles on a replica of a larger fake spider that it constructs itself in an attempt to attract prey or confuse the predators.

The eight-legged arachnid spider was discovered by biologist and science educator Phil Torres. The new species belongs to the genus Cyclosa. The giant fake spider, which was assumed to be real at first sight was infact made up of tiny bits of leaf, debris and dead insects. In short it was a decoy constructed by the real spider.

Cyclosas are known to add materials to their web in an attempt to attract prey or get away from predators. But the decoy created by the spider was to protect itself from being consumed by the paper wasps.

What is strikingly remarkable about this new found species is that  the 5 mm spider just does not stop at creating the huge replica, but also shakes the decoy that gives an impression to the predator that it is indeed a real spider.

Phil Torres described the find in a blog entry written for Rainforest Expeditions. "It seems like a really well evolved and much specialized behavior. Considering that spiders can already make really impressive geometric designs with their webs, it's no surprise that they can take that leap to make an impressive design with debris and other things," reports

Nearly 25 arachnids were found in a single square mile in a floodplain in Peru on the Western edges of the Amazon.

Torres described the arrangement of the debris in a blog  stating that the spiders neatly arranged the bits and pieces along the silk strands known as stabilimentain, a symmetrical form that gives the exact impression of a giant spider hanging in the web.

In his blog Torres highlighted that studies indicated that the survival rate of the Cyclosa was higher when compared to predators like paper wasps.

 This spider hasn't been declared a legitimate species yet, more studies have to be done to confirm it.

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