How The Body Type Of A Spider Affects Running | Waco Spider Control Experts
If you look at sports, you will notice that different body types are best suited for different purposes. This is true across the animal and insect kingdoms as well, especially when it comes to spiders.
Studies performed on various species of spiders have shown that there are different archetypes out there which facilitate different mobility traits. In fact, these different archetypes are not only present between species but also within species themselves. The male huntsman spider, for example, has to travel a long distance in order to find a mate. For this purpose, it has a small body with very long legs. The female huntsman spider however needs to be secure and protect the nest, and as such, it has a much larger abdomen and shorter legs.
What’s even more interesting is that in all species, not just spiders, long legs and a smaller body mass are associated with higher levels of endurance. For the huntsman spider in particular, this trait allows it to outbreed with females that are very different from them genetically.
The male huntsman spider however is not born with long legs and the capacity for long distance travel. These traits will only develop as it reaches sexual maturity, with its limbs lengthening by 37%, while females will only see a 12% increase as they reach maturity. Noticing this, the researchers then set out to test the speed of these spiders, predicting that the long legs of the males immediately gave them an advantage. For this experiment they set up a series of 1-meter transparent tubes with boxes at each end to capture and release the spiders.
What they found was that the maximum velocities that these spiders could reach was the same across all sexes and ages. However, when they looked at their running speed relative to their body lengths, the males were much faster than the females. Researchers also found that the males weigh less, allowing them to run over long distances much more easily.
When compared to other species, the researchers came to the same conclusion across the board. Spiders that had longer legs when compared to their body size were not only faster, but they were able to run for longer distances.
We can see this in the spiders inside of our homes as well. The spiders that are the best at getting away from danger tend to have longer legs, and this is true for wolf spiders as well, which have to chase their prey in order to capture it and eat it.