City spiders getting bigger, multiplying faster
If you think that the spiders you see in your garden are getting bigger, you are probably right.
An Australian study on the golden orb weaving spiders found that in urbanised areas, spiders were bigger, fatter and better at reproducing than spiders in rural areas.
Researchers from University of Sydney collected 222 spiders from areas in Sydney and measured their size, ratio of size to weight, percentage of lipids and ovary size.
The spiders that the team collected from hard-paved surfaces and man-made structures with less leaf cover were bigger in size.
When the team dissected them in the laboratory, they found larger ovaries and a higher percentage of lipids in their bodies.
The researchers think that warmer temperatures in urban areas, more availability of prey, street lights are some of the likely reasons for the results.
The findings were published in the journal PLOS One.
(Posted on 21-08-2014)