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Young cupboard spiders sometimes turn cannibal and eat their siblings


Newly hatched spider siblings

Newly hatched spiders eat each other if food is scarce

Jeffrey Harvey, Netherlands Institute of Ecology

Baby cupboard spiders that can’t find enough food resort to devouring their siblings.

Cannibalism has been observed in several spider species, but it typically involves adult females eating males during or after sex. In one species, the black lace-weaver, mothers allow themselves to be consumed by their own offspring in the ultimate sacrifice.

Now, Jeffrey Harvey at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology and his colleagues have discovered that a common species called Steatoda grossa engages in a different …

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