Spinnen und fleischfressende Pflanzen und ihr Food-Contest

Wenn Spinnen und fleischfressende Pflanzen auf derselben Wiese leben, bauen die Spinnen größere Netze, um den Pflanzen das Futter wegzuschnappen. Spiders vs Plants is a go!

In parts of Florida and southern Georgia, two species of wolf spider eat the same insects as the pink sundew—a type of carnivorous plant.

Sundews catch bugs using a sticky mucilage on the tips of their leaves. The small plants then release digestive enzymes, which begin to process the trapped animals, leaving only their exoskeletons behind.

Sosippus floridanus spiders, meanwhile, build funnel webs slightly off the ground, at the same height as the sundews. And a wandering wolf spider species, Rabidosa rabida, actively hunts for the same insects the sundews tend to trap. (See spider web pictures.)

In the field the team saw that, when S. floridanus is in close quarters with the sundew, the spiders build larger webs farther away from the plants, presumably to snare more meals than the sundews’ leaves.

This led the team to suspect that the spiders were hurting the plants via competition.

Spiders, Carnivorous Plants Compete for Food—A First