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Young Cupboard Spiders Engage in Cannibalism, Eating Their Siblings

Newly hatched spiders practice sibling cannibalism when food is scarce

Jeffrey Harvey, Netherlands Institute of Ecology

When baby cupboard spiders are unable to find enough food, they resort to consuming their own siblings.

Cannibalism is a known behavior in several spider species, but it is usually observed among adult females eating males during or after mating. However, there is one species, the black lace-weaver, where mothers willingly allow themselves to be eaten by their own offspring as a form of ultimate sacrifice.

In a recent study conducted by Jeffrey Harvey from the Netherlands Institute of Ecology and his team, it has been discovered that a common species of spider known as Steatoda grossa displays a different cannibalistic behavior…

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