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.
Earlier this year, a new study combined extensive genetic and life history data to explore how sociality evolved in huntsman spiders. The findings set the stage for further research on the evolution of social behavior.
A new study has mounted perhaps the most intricate, detailed look ever at the diversity in structure and form of bees, offering new insights in a long-standing debate over how complex social behaviors arose in certain branches of bees' evolutionary tree. The report offers strong evidence that complex social behavior developed just once in pollen-carrying bees, rather than twice or more, separately, in different evolutionary branches—but researchers say the case is far from closed.
Meet Hollis Woodard, Ph.D., assistant professor of entomology at the University of California, Riverside, expert in bumble bee sociality, passionate ambassador for public science outreach, and the subject of the next installment of our "Standout Early Career Professionals" series.