Assassin Bug Uses Aggressive Mimicry To Catch Spiders

Posted by on December 3rd, 2010

A species of assassin bug, Stenolemus bituberus, sneaks onto spiders’ webs and pretends to be prey, then captures and eats the spider when it comes to investigate. It was noted that on occasion the ploy of the assassin bug failed and it ended up being a meal for the spider regardless.

“The assassin bug slowly approaches the spider on its web, using its forelegs to pluck the silk threads in a manner that simulates the vibrations of a fly struggling after being caught. Wignall studied the behavior of the bugs, and found that the response of the spider to the predator was the same as its response to when a vinegar fly or aphid was caught in the web.”


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