Assassin Bug will....assassinate you and your spider.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Said the assassin bug to the spider....

Running with Ponies reports:

"A study from Sydney’s Macquarie University has examined the predatory behaviour of the assassin bug (Stenolemus bituberus), describing for the first time the two distinct attack methods used by this araneophagic (spider-eating) insect. Putting the bugs in contact with five species of web-building spiders, Anne Wignall observed the assassin bugs to use either “stalking” or “luring” tactics to hunt their prey in their webs.

When stalking, the assassin bugs will rely on stealth to reach their prey undetected, severing and stretching the silk threads of the web between itself and the spider, and approaching it with an irregular, bouncing locomotion. Exploiting periods of environmental disturbance (caused by wind, for example), together with the vibrations created by its cryptic stepping movements, the assassin bug creates a kind of “smokescreen” effect to mask its approach.

When luring, however, the assassin bug will manipulate the silk vibrations to deliberately reveal its location on the web and draw the spider to it, plucking the threads to emulate the twitching, panicked movements of ensnared prey for up to twenty minutes. “The spider thinks it’s getting a meal, but instead gets eaten itself,” says Wignall."

That's nice and special and all, I'm just happy that the underdog wins! I mean I know it's called an Assassin bug, but any time a bug takes on a Spider for the sake of eating it, I'm rooting for the bug. 

Check out this Battle at Kruger where the underdog (spoiler) wins against all odds.

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