A new discovery of Vegetarian Spider

The world’s first vegetarian spider, which eats nectar-filled leaf tips (mostly plant buds) rather than other animals has been discovered. The discovery has taken the bite out of spiders' status as meat-eaters.

A tropical jumping spider that lives in Central America and Mexico is the first-known predominantly vegetarian out of some 40,000 spider species.

In the late 1800s, naturalists named the spider Bagheera kiplingi after a panther in British author Rudyard Kipling's 1894 children's book The Jungle Book.

"At that time in history, all the [naturalists] had was a tattered dead specimen," said study leader Christopher Meehan, a biologist at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Scientists have found that the spider uses its excellent eyesight, agility and cunning to dodge the attentions of the ants, which are involved an mutually-beneficial “symbiotic” relationship with the acacia, which provides food and housing for the ants in return for their protection against leaf eaters.

"They had no idea what it ate. But perhaps they knew that jumping spiders were cat-like in their movements, and they decided to name the spider after the agile panther Bagheera in Kipling's book."

The research is published in the journal Current Biology.

Via - National Geographic

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