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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
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ScienceShot: How Spider Assassins Mimic Prey
26 October 2010 7:01 pm
Sometimes the spider becomes the prey. At least when assassin bug Stenolemus bituberus is on the job. The spindly-legged insect (pictured) lures arachnids to their deaths by landing on webs, struggling like entangled prey, and then eating the arachnids for dinner. To figure out how the deception works, scientists placed spider webs in a sound chamber and recorded the vibrations when an assassin bug, a falling leaf, a courting male spider, or one of two types of prey (vinegar fly or aphid) touched the web. Spiders' reactions to the assassins most closely mirrored those toward prey: turning, pausing, and approaching 65% of the time and turning but not approaching 35% of the time. However, the spiders never aggressively approached the assassin bugs, the researchers report online today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The scientists think this reflects a deliberate tactic of the assassins. By making only short, low-frequency vibrations, the predators mimicked the struggles of small or exhausted prey, duping the spiders into letting down their guard.
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