Spiders are frightened of themselves.
A new study has revealed that it is not just humans who live in fear of the insects as spiders can show signs of phobia in the presence of another larger and possibly predatory critter.
Boffins carried out tests on jumping spiders, known as salticids, being able to recognise a static predator and found that the creatures were terrified in front of the larger objects – backing away just as humans would.
Dr. Daniela Roessler – who led the ‘Arachno-Arachnophobia’ study – said: “Our experiments show that salticids demonstrate a robust, fast, and repeatable ‘freeze and retreat’ behaviour when presented with stationary predators, but not similarly sized non-predator objects.
“Anti-predator responses were triggered by co-occurring and non-co-occurring salticid predators, as well as by 3D-printed salticid models (based on micro-CT scans), suggesting a generalized predator detection/classification.”