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Tiny spider takes down giant ant

Stano Pekár

Tiny spider takes down giant ant

Akin to the tale of David and Goliath, a small spider in Israel can take down a giant ant four times its size. But how does Zodarion cyrenaicum, which doesn’t grow much larger than a pinhead, manage to pull off such a feat? Researchers studying its tactics found that the full-grown arachnid works alone, attacking fast from behind with a venomous bite, and then retreats to safety until the poison kicks in. Young spiders demonstrate the same poisonous chomp, but instead of evacuating, they’re small enough to just cling to the backside of the ant until it goes limp. The findings are published in the journal Naturwissenschaften.

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