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Spiders

Analysis and Comment (5)

Male orb-web spiders are dwarfed by their female counterparts, but they can maximise success if they don’t mate indiscriminately. Male orb-web spiders are dwarfed by their female counterparts, but they can maximise success if they don’t mate indiscriminately. Brian Gratwicke/Flickr

Tiny male spiders can get a leg over – as long as they’re picky

Males will mate with anything. Well, that is the general view, one that exists because of a simple biological underpinning: females are reproductively limited by costly gestation, while males are only…
Jumping spider silk draglines join bird wings and lizard tails as stabilising features in the animal kingdom. Jumping spider silk draglines join bird wings and lizard tails as stabilising features in the animal kingdom. VonShawn

How do jumping spiders make a perfect landing? Watch and learn

Jumping spiders are unique in the spider world as they don’t build webs - they’re active visual predators who rarely use silk. In fact, the main use we thought jumping spiders had for silk was a safety…
For golden orb spiders, it seems size doesn’t matter when it comes to finding a mate. For golden orb spiders, it seems size doesn’t matter when it comes to finding a mate. Michael Kasumovic

Incy wincy spider? Don’t fret – you can still get the girl

Whether it’s two lions fighting over a pride or two butterflies fighting over a sunny spot, decades of nature shows have led the average watcher to conclude that bigger, stronger males win competitions…
Female wasp spiders often eat their mate straight after intercourse. Female wasp spiders often eat their mate straight after intercourse. Wikimedia Commons

Sticky and picky: why male orb-web spiders like heavy virgins

When it comes to selecting a mate, females are traditionally thought of as the choosy sex; males, meanwhile, aren’t thought to be particularly picky. This makes sense for many species – the sex that invests…

Research Briefs (7)

Small spiders have brains in their legs

The brains of tiny spiders are so large they fill their body cavities and overflow into their legs. To investigate how miniaturisation…

A step toward spider silk synthesis

Researchers have taken a significant step forward in the quest to produce synthetic spider silk. Spider silk has five times…