The hunting methods of most spiders are as reliable as a Swiss watch. But sometimes eight-legged hunters overdo it with reliability and turn the land into minefields dotted with craters and trapping nets! This is what the black eresus, or ladybug spider, does.
If it were not for the giant mandibles on the floor of the pug, Erezus would have been the cutest fluffy lump. Their bristles sit as densely as those of mammals, so the spider looks velvety. And what color he has! An elegant combination of red and black. For this, by the way, the spider got a second name – the ladybug spider.
Only males have a red-black color. Females prefer classic black.
Common to the ladybug and the “ladybug” is not only the color, but also the area. Eresus branded himself the western half of the Palaearctic, that is, a wide piece of Eurasia above the Himalayas and west of the Novosibirsk region. In Russia, there are very few of these spiders, in some places they ended up in the regional Red Books.
And all because Erezus love dry and warm places. They settle in deserts and semi-deserts, mastering the southern slopes of mountains and hills. It is there, among the heather thickets, that they arrange their minefields. Erezus is another minecrafter, for his ambush he digs not one, but several minks at once, around which he lays out trapping nets. There can be up to 10 such “traps” per square meter. Having stretched the nets, the spider hides in a mink and waits. He will not get out of the shelter until the prey falls into the trap.
What will happen if a person falls into these minefields? Never mind. You, most likely, will not even notice the traps of the spider. And Eresus himself is not such a fool as to rush from all paws to any rustle. The predator analyzes the vibrations and roughly represents the size of the creature caught in the net. Insects, scorpions and even lizards fall into the risk zone. By our standards, a tiny booty. But for eresus, this is the same as killing a mammoth. The ladybug spider grows up to 2 centimeters maximum. And these are females. Males are even smaller.
Speaking of males. Unlike the ladies who lie in wait 24/7, the boys are regularly looking for love. When the lair of a potential lover is found, the male unobtrusively digs a hole nearby and waits in ambush for the right moment. Spiders are ladies with character. As soon as mademoiselle appears on the horizon, the spider acts decisively: it runs out in front of the female and shows her his … dance!
If the female liked dancing, she not only does not eat the male, but also allows the boyfriend to stay with her until next spring! Unprecedented hospitality for arachnids! It remains only to imagine how a couple has mercy in warm winter hugs during hibernation.
With the advent of heat, the male wakes up first. While his missus is sleeping, he slips her a gift in the form of a spermatophore. Once the genetic material is in the right place, the guy quickly retreats from his girlfriend’s hideout. After a long sleep, everyone will be out of sorts. With spiders, this usually ends up in good old cannibalism.
When the female wakes up, she will no longer find the missus. But she finds herself pregnant. Mom will wrap 80-100 eggs in a cocoon. Periodically, she will have to leave her comfort zone and crawl out to warm her future children in the sun. Such campaigns continue until the arrival of cold weather. The female finally clogs the hole, having previously buried supplies for the babies. She won’t need any more food.
Spiderlings hatch already next to their mother’s blanks, including the mother herself. The fact is that the female produces a huge amount of digestive enzymes and ultimately digests herself. Having overwintered, the new-born generation gets out of the devastated parental home and disperses in all directions in order to twist new nets and set new minefields!
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