Spider webs points the way to ant control

A chemical used by golden orb web spiders to keep ants at bay could make a useful pest control agent, say researchers.

The research is published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Golden orb web spiders (Nephila antipodiana) are a common species found all over the world, particularly in tropical areas including in Southeast Asia and Australia.

They weave giant webs over 1 metre across, catching all manner of insects from flies to cicadas for their supper.

These spiders — and the insects they catch in their web — are potential prey for ants, says researcher Professor Mark Elgar, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Melbourne, so it’s surprising that ants are never found foraging on the webs of these spiders — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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