Spiders may evolve towards a social lifestyle

(ORDO NEWS) — Some spider species have evolved from a solitary lifestyle to a more social one, and other species may also evolve in that direction.

“Most spiders are thought to be solitary, but a study by ANU found that some species have become more social,” the press release said.

According to ANU professor Alexander Mikheev, some species of spiders independently evolve “in a very similar way towards a social lifestyle.” In particular, this applies to Australian hunter spiders.

“To a large extent, the social behavior is that they get together, eat in one place, share food. They also have a certain degree of kinship, this is similar to how people communicate more closely with family members than with strangers” – explained Mikheev.

According to Mikheev, social behavior requires larger brains, and in the case of spiders, it is noted that species such as the Australian hunter and the African social spider do have larger brains.

At the same time, the scientist emphasizes that the genetic changes that led to an increase in the number of neurons in the two species of spiders are very similar and are associated with changes in genes that control behavior, the formation of neurons, and metabolism.

“While we can’t predict the future, I wouldn’t be surprised if more spider species follow this path,” Mikheev said.


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