- Not Exactly Rocket Science
A sticky case of eight-legged housework
Tear off a piece of sticky tape press it down on a nearby surface and pull it off. You’ll find a thin layer of dirt comes off with it. Rinse, and repeat. Congratulations –you’ve just had a taste of housework, spider-mite-style. The spider mite Stigmaeopsis longus is a sociable critter that works together to build silken nests on the undersides of leaves. In these enclosed spaces, hygiene is paramount. For example, the colony’s members all use a toilet at the entrance of the nest, never defecating inside. They’re also fastidious cleaners and Miki Kanazawa from Hokkaido University has found that they scrub using the same substance that they build their homes with: silk.
She sprinkled small grains of red sand into