Spider Solidarity: Scientists Discover New Species With Unprecedented Social Behavior
Sociality in spiders is quite rare, but a new species found in Madagascar takes it a step further. Isoxya manangona kite spiders build large colonies of webs, all connected by a central silk line where multiple adult males gather harmoniously. Researchers suggest the males could be "lekking," gathering in a group to perform mating displays for females, a behavior never before seen in spiders.
In Defense of Clothes Moths, Marvels of Evolution
Though they cause headaches for dining on your wardrobe, webbing clothes moths are unique creatures with fascinating specialized biology. They can eat hair and metabolize their own water. They can chew through plastic and digest mercury. And that's not all. An entomologist studying these moths makes a case for appreciating their evolutionary feats.
Brown Widow Spiders’ Aggression Likely Driver of Black Widow Decline
Black widow spiders have earned a fearsome reputation for their venomous bite. But in parts of the southern U.S. these spiders have much to fear themselves—from spider relatives who really don't like their company. A new study shows that brown widow spiders, of a species in the same genus, have a striking propensity to seek out and kill nearby black widows.
Nitro-Nosh: Why Termites’ Molted Exoskeletons Never Go to Waste
Termites' wood-heavy diet offers little nitrogen, a critical nutrient for growth and reproduction. But their exoskeletons are nitrogen rich, and new research shows that eating shed exoskeletons after molting is a core strategy for recycling nitrogen throughout the termite colony and boosting the queen's egg-laying.