WHITE TAIL SPIDER SPRAY RAT CONTROL SWANSON
The bright yellow stripes on this spider's abdomen lure insects towards its web, possibly by mimicking the colours of certain flowers. However, the stripes on its legs are invisible to insects. This will camouflage the spider from its would-be victims.
2. Northern Jewelled Spider (Gasteracantha fornicata)
These forest-dwellers have an intricately patterned, highly-reflective dorsal "shield". Somehow this attracts insect prey. The spiders point their shields towards the dark forest floor while hunting, so it may be that insects mistake them for bright gaps in the trees, and fly in unawares.
3. Northern Golden Orb Weaver (Nephila pilipes, formerlyN. maculata)
Found in warm areas of Asia, Africa and Australasia, females of this species are some of the largest spiders on Earth: their leg span can reach 20cm. Their bodies are visual lures. A study published in 2002 showed that the abdomens of Northern golden orb weavers reflect lots of ultraviolet light, which insects are particularly sensitive to. The insects may mistake the spiders for flowers, which also reflect plenty of UV.
4. Brown Huntsman Spider (Heteropoda venatoria)
Also known as the giant crab spider, this creature has a distinctive hunting tool. It has a white stripe, or "moustache", below its eyes. The stripe is so reflective that even at night it is bright enough to lure moths towards the spider. Moths make up most of its diet, but it has also been seen feasting on bats and scorpions.
5. Orchid Spider (Leucauge magnifica)
This ghostly-looking species draws insects to its web from two sides. Its silvery back and yellow-striped belly are both powerful lures, and the latter is especially effective at night. The spider's colouration may mimic a food source that the insects rely on.
6. Crab Spider (Thomisus spp.)
There are many kinds of crab spider, but those belonging to theThomisus genus are unique. Many Thomisus species take up residence on flowers and prey on the pollinating insects that visit. Some species can change their body colour to match the flower they're sitting on. This might look like simple camouflage, but it's actually a lure. The bodies of these spiders reflect ultraviolet light, which makes their host flowers seem brighter and more attractive to insects.
7. Brazilian Crab Spider (Epicadus heterogaster)
Another type of crab spider takes plant mimicry to a higher level. This eye-catching species comes in white, yellow, purple and brown varieties, each of which has evolved to resemble different flowers. This disguise may help the spiders lure bees and other pollinators, while also keeping them safe from predators.
8. Web Decorators (various genera)
Spiders use more than just their bodies to attract prey. Many species, like the Cyclosa insulana in the picture, spin intricate patterns into their webs. These decorations, or "stabilimenta", may be lures for flying insects. They reflect ultraviolet light, which may draw in prey just like the UV-reflecting spiders already discussed.
9. Peacock Spider (Maratus spp.)
They're not hunting lures, but the mating displays of peacock spiders are spectacular. During courtship, the males attract females by waving and vibrating their iridescent abdomens. Their enlarged central eyes are equipped with telephoto lenses, and their colour vision is far superior to ours – so from the perspective of a female peacock spider, these displays must look even more dazzling.
10. Bolas Spiders (various genera)
Bolas spiders have some of the most sophisticated lures in the animal kingdom. They don't spin a web, but instead catch insects by swinging a single line of silk with a sticky droplet at the end. One species, Mastophora hutchinsoni, also has an invisible secret weapon. At night, they release chemicals that mimic the sex pheromones of female moths. Any male moths that get too curious meet a sticky end. The spiders actually mimic the pheromones of two species of moth, and change the chemical blend they release depending on which is active.
-Presented by Robin Wylie