Like in Game of Thrones, where the Iron Throne was forged from the swords of all the enemies Aegon the Conqueror defeated, this Cyclosa spider uses its dead enemies’ bodies to build a big fake spider decoy design to sit on. Seriously, the spider uses its victim’s insect corpses to construct a larger spider-shaped design on its web to scare off potential predators. That’s so badarse.
The spider, which was first discovered in Peru by entomologist Phil Torres and separately in the Philippines in 2012 by entomologist Lary Reeves was recently pointed out again by Wired Science, uses leaves, debris and dead insects to shape its spider design. It’s remarkable, the legs actually extend and the design really looks like a giant spider.
The fake spider design is much larger than the real spider (~30mm on the decoy vs just a few millimetres for the real spider) and the real spider can camouflage nicely under all the dead bodies and debris it put together. Power in size, power in numbers, power in dead bodies.
Cyclosa spiders have added designs to their webs before but it’s just incredible to see two spider species thousands of miles apart both build out giant spider designs. Reeves and Torres are re-visiting the bold spiders again and are hoping to gain a better understanding of them through various experiments (like where the spiders get their materials from, how quickly the build, etc.). I expect their discoveries to be just as fun to see as Game of Thrones.