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Keen eye spies bee and spider bedfellows in 'world-first' (brisbanetimes.com.au)
60 points by danso on Jan 27, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 13 comments



> University of Queensland entomologist Dr David Merritt said the bee was a solitary leafcutter bee that searched for hollow, and usually empty, spaces in which to build nests.

Hypothesis 1: The spider knows the bee is laying eggs and can possibly make a meal of the babies and the bee either thinks this is worth the risk, or started the nest before realizing the spider was there and doesn't have time to find another.

> “Judging by the size of that spider it would be quite a task for it to grab that bee and it would get stung,” he said.

Hypothesis 2: The bee and the spider are in some kind of behavioral stalemate, they both know that the risk of a bee sting is greater than the potential of a bee meal, so they tolerate each other.

I would still wonder whether the bee can recognize that the hole was a spider burrow if the spider isn't present. If the bee can't, then I would wonder what the situation would be for each of them when a spider was out hunting and came back to find a bee already building a nest.

In any case, it looks like there is some good science that needs doing, very cool.


I doubt that the wolf spider is intelligent enough to plan on eating the bee's larvae/pupae. I'm guessing that neither recognizes the other as predator or prey. So they ignore each other.


Australia has amazing fauna. If you are in Australia and interested in spider identification I can highly recommend the new book A Field Guide to Spiders of Australia which I just bought an author signed copy of at Christmas. https://booko.com.au/9780643107076/A-Field-Guide-to-Spiders-...

Another recent discovery was the amazing Peacock Spider... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maratus_volans.


Wait, a 4WD idling attracts spiders?


raises both eyebrows but only in the country with the most lethal spiders.. /j


I can attest to this. I've done many trips into the deep desert and noticed many times that if you idle your 4WD while out (taking a whizz for example), often there'll be swarms of beasties on their way to investigate.

There are tons of tricks like this that the average Australian kid (used to?) learn .. another great trick is to take a gold coin with you while snorkelling, and use it to lure octopus out of their lairs .. they find it irresistible. I've had hours of fun with that trick.


This article is full of gem quotes and therefore worth reading even if you don't care about the subject.

> “I jumped back because I am shit-scared of spiders; I thought it was a bloody spider.”


“The world isn’t ready for us. Ours is a forbidden love Spidey.” “I know. Now go scare the st out of that photographer sweet B”


Of all the spider holes in Australia he happened to be photographing this one at the right moment, astounding.


It sounds like he's a keen observer of nature.

And possibly has some time on his hands being a railway employee in the bush :-)


Interspecial dating. I like how proud this gentleman is of his discovery. I bet that was incredibly neat to witness.


Did you read the article???


There's a site guideline specifically against this kind of comment. Could you please read https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and follow them?




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