For These Trickster Animals, Every Day is April Fools
From caterpillars that masquerade as queen ants to fish that sneak in sperm, nature abounds with clever creatures.
The weekend's finally here, which means it's time for Saturday's Weird Animal Question of the Week.
Take the female bolas spider, chemical warrior and weapons expert.
Martin Stevens, author of the new book Cheats and Deceits, says this North American arachnid creates a dangling ball of sticky material that resembles an ancient weapon called a bolas. She then hangs from a “trapeze wire” connecting two pieces of vegetation and releases chemicals that mimic the pheromones of female moths.
When the male shows up thinking he’ll get a mate, she swings the sticky bolas, "ensnares the moth, and pulls him in to eat," Stevens says by email. (Learn how some snakes masquerade as killers.)
Another dirty trickster is the water strider, an insect that literally walks on water and has “a twisted courtship,” says Katy Prudic, entomologist at the University of Arizona.