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.
Meet Cryptocteniza kawtak, a newly described genus and species of trapdoor spider that likely dates to the Cretaceous. The researcher who found it first spotted it in 1997 but was finally able to enter it in the scientific record after finding another specimen two decades later.
In a study on three commonly cited natural spider repellents, both chestnut and peppermint oil showed apparent repellent effects on two species of spider but not on a third. Meanwhile, lemon oil did not have a significant effect on any of the three species included in the study.