Author Topic: Kai - Bug Questions!  (Read 376 times)

Mangrove

  • Founder of the David Foster Wallace Appreciation Society
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 11757
    • View Profile
Kai - Bug Questions!
« on: July 11, 2012, 07:54:53 pm »
This is something really stupid, but I had to ask.

So, outside one of our bedroom windows, some funnel web spiders have taken residence. Every now and then, I like to watch what they're up too. Often, nothing much but recently, I got to see something I've never seen up close before. Some flying beastie (that looked all the world like a very small wasp(?) got himself caught in the web.

Now, he was doing all his best to get the hell out because the resident spider was nearby. The spider ran out and actually circled his prey numerous times. Then it'd run back and then run out again, do a few victory laps and then return to his corner. There was a really dramatic scene whereby the spider stood over the wasp and had one leg poised very high above like he was about to  bitch slap his would-be meal from a great height.

Later on, when I revisited the scene, the wasp was dead and all of it's waspy goodness had been sucked out.

This got me thinking. Spiders have been making sticky webs for a gazillion years. Other creatures have been sticking to said webs for gazillions of years. Has our trusty friend, evolved insects that either are:

a) impervious to spider stickiness, in which case they can walk off? After all, spiders can, so it makes sense that some other creature could.

b) developed some other anti-spider web measure(s)?

I would have thought "not getting stuck in a web and dying" would qualify as suitable 'environmental pressure' to cheat the spiders out of a meal.

Many thanks,

Mang'
What makes it so? Making it so is what makes it so.

The Good Reverend Roger

  • Dirtbag
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 35308
    • View Profile
Re: Kai - Bug Questions!
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2012, 07:58:55 pm »
Remember:  Evolution doesn't produce the best solution, just one that works.  If a particular brand of wasp, etc, can live long enough to breed, it has succeeded.

Then consider the sheer number of prey species that a spider eats, compared to the number of spiders.  Not enough gun, I'm thinking, to force any changes.
"What can we do to help you stop screaming?"

Nepos twiddletonis

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 255723
  • DEATH METAL ENGLISH
    • View Profile
Re: Kai - Bug Questions!
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2012, 08:54:35 pm »
Wasps also seem to have queens. The wasp you saw might not have any reproductive purpose. Though other species behave differently.
Steely-Eyed Replicant Frottage Master of Yesterday's Lost Glory
Sentence or sentence fragment pending[/size]

Soy El Vaquero Peludo de Oro

TIM AM I, PRIMARY OF THE EXTRA-ATMOSPHERIC SIMIANS

Golden Applesauce

  • Token Apologist
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 22307
  • Where does this text go?
    • View Profile
Re: Kai - Bug Questions!
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2012, 10:44:37 pm »
Moths and butterflies' wing scales detach, letting them bounce off webs.
http://www.asknature.org/strategy/12de56f529b1c7c6bc7b818eabec31ed

I'm pretty sure there are some ants who know how to only walk on the non sticky parts of webs, and there are some insects who can cut their way free. I think there's at least one species of insect that flies into webs intentionally, then breaks free and eats the spider.

Edit: after a little more research, it turns out that most insects have some anti-web ability. Good eyesight & maneuverability to avoid or fly through webs, being strong enough to break free, playing dead, or just being poisonous. Webs are designed to fail gracefully in the event that a strong bug tries to break free - its better for one meal to get away than for the entire web to be torn apart. Spiders will even go out of their way to cut free poisonous or dangerous insects out of the web.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 11:02:19 pm by Golden Applesauce »
Q: How regularly do you hire 8th graders?
A: We have hired a number of FORMER 8th graders.

The Good Reverend Roger

  • Dirtbag
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 35308
    • View Profile
Re: Kai - Bug Questions!
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2012, 12:11:05 am »
I think there's at least one species of insect that flies into webs intentionally, then breaks free and eats the spider.


Jesus H Christ.   :eek:
"What can we do to help you stop screaming?"

Nepos twiddletonis

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 255723
  • DEATH METAL ENGLISH
    • View Profile
Re: Kai - Bug Questions!
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2012, 01:07:49 am »
I think there's at least one species of insect that flies into webs intentionally, then breaks free and eats the spider.


Jesus H Christ.   :eek:

God's not just keeping his fingers in the physics pie. Looks like he's crazying up biology too.
Steely-Eyed Replicant Frottage Master of Yesterday's Lost Glory
Sentence or sentence fragment pending[/size]

Soy El Vaquero Peludo de Oro

TIM AM I, PRIMARY OF THE EXTRA-ATMOSPHERIC SIMIANS

Luna

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 104584
    • View Profile
Re: Kai - Bug Questions!
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2012, 01:29:23 am »
I think there's at least one species of insect that flies into webs intentionally, then breaks free and eats the spider.


Jesus H Christ.   :eek:

This appeals to my sense of irony.
Death-dealing hormone freak of deliciousness
Pagan-Stomping Valkyrie of the Interbutts™
Rampaging Slayer of Shit-Fountain Habitues

"My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know, everybody you see, everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake, and they live in a state of constant, total amazement."

If Luna was a furry, she'd sex humans and scream "BEASTIALITY!" at the top of her lungs at inopportune times.

I like the Luna one. She is a good one.

Quote
"Stop talking to yourself.  You don't like you any better than anyone else who knows you."

LMNO, PhD (life continues)

  • Internet Fuckweasel of Haunted Pork Dimensions.
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 83424
  • Internet Fuckweasel of Haunted Pork Dimensions.
    • View Profile
    • Earfatigue Productions: When it has to sound like you give a shit.
Re: Kai - Bug Questions!
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2012, 11:58:35 am »
It almost make you want to add new chapters to the Spider Project, doesn't it?
LMNO
Pope/Wrought Iron Instigator
First Church of Last Exit Before Toll
The Spider Project.

Buy the Chao te Ching, or be doomed forever.

http://www.stonybrook.edu/sb/marburger/index.shtml

"Get offa me, you freaks!  This is not North Korea.  No.  This is America, and I expect to be PAID for that sort of nonsense.  In advance.  No credit...Cash on the barrelhead or GTFO.  I swear to God, there's nothing more annoying than commie perverts who don't understand the intrinsic value of the free market system."

The Good Reverend Roger

  • Dirtbag
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 35308
    • View Profile
Re: Kai - Bug Questions!
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2012, 01:02:45 pm »
It almost make you want to add new chapters to the Spider Project, doesn't it?

*twitch*

Damn you!
"What can we do to help you stop screaming?"

LMNO, PhD (life continues)

  • Internet Fuckweasel of Haunted Pork Dimensions.
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 83424
  • Internet Fuckweasel of Haunted Pork Dimensions.
    • View Profile
    • Earfatigue Productions: When it has to sound like you give a shit.
Re: Kai - Bug Questions!
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2012, 04:15:41 pm »
:regret:
LMNO
Pope/Wrought Iron Instigator
First Church of Last Exit Before Toll
The Spider Project.

Buy the Chao te Ching, or be doomed forever.

http://www.stonybrook.edu/sb/marburger/index.shtml

"Get offa me, you freaks!  This is not North Korea.  No.  This is America, and I expect to be PAID for that sort of nonsense.  In advance.  No credit...Cash on the barrelhead or GTFO.  I swear to God, there's nothing more annoying than commie perverts who don't understand the intrinsic value of the free market system."

Mangrove

  • Founder of the David Foster Wallace Appreciation Society
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 11757
    • View Profile
Re: Kai - Bug Questions!
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2012, 06:37:35 pm »
Remember:  Evolution doesn't produce the best solution, just one that works.  If a particular brand of wasp, etc, can live long enough to breed, it has succeeded.

Then consider the sheer number of prey species that a spider eats, compared to the number of spiders.  Not enough gun, I'm thinking, to force any changes.

Reproduction = Success.
True for wasps, not for people  :lol:
What makes it so? Making it so is what makes it so.

Mangrove

  • Founder of the David Foster Wallace Appreciation Society
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 11757
    • View Profile
Re: Kai - Bug Questions!
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2012, 06:38:16 pm »
I think there's at least one species of insect that flies into webs intentionally, then breaks free and eats the spider.


Jesus H Christ.   :eek:

Seconded!
What makes it so? Making it so is what makes it so.