Hey Matt:

What happens when one species of spider accidentally falls into the web of another species?

-- Black Widower Paul, San Diego

Weeeel, depends, according to the staff bug guy at our sister institution, Consolidated BioAlice. Spiders are cautious and generally sure-footed. They have oily secretions on their legs and toes to keep them from tangling in their own webs. (And not all strands in a web are sticky.) Also, most spiders will steer clear of the competition. But field observations suggest a large spider caught in a small web can probably extract himself and depart. Vice versa, he could be lunch.


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