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Sat Aug 17, 2019, 03:33 PM

Bagheera Kiplingi is a Predominantly Vegetarian Jumping Spider

Posted on August 17, 2019



Spiders are known for being hunters and meat-eaters but there is one species that prefers a vegetarian diet. Bagheera kiplingi is a jumping spider species from Central America and southern Mexico that feeds predominantly on plant food.

The spider prefers to consume nectar and Beltian bodies (detachable leaf tips) from acacia shrubs. These shrubs also happen to be fiercely guarded by ants which also eat the nectar and inhabit the hollow spines of the plant. A female Bagheera kiplingi is holding one of the Beltian bodies in the photograph above.

The little jumping spider has to constantly avoid ants in order to obtain the plant nectar and Beltian bodies. The researchers say "the spiders get the job done through active avoidance of patrolling acacia-ants, relying on excellent eyesight, agility, and cognitive skills."

Research teams led by Christopher Meehan of Villanova University and Eric Olson of Brandeis University discovered the mostly vegetarian spider species in Costa Rica in 2001 and then in coastal Quintana Roo, Mexico in 2007. The Wikipedia entry says B. kiplingi has a diet that is over 90% Beltian bodies. The spiders also sometimes supplement their plant diet with animal prey, including ant larvae and eggs.

More:
https://www.sciencespacerobots.com/bagheera-kiplingi-vegetarian-spider-81720191

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Reply Bagheera Kiplingi is a Predominantly Vegetarian Jumping Spider (Original post)
Judi Lynn Aug 17 OP
Duppers Aug 17 #1
AJT Aug 17 #2
Igel Aug 17 #3
AJT Aug 17 #4

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 03:53 PM

1. Nice to know.

I don't kill spiders unless I'm sure they're either a black widow, which are easily recognizable, or a Brown Recluse. Glad we don't have to deal with Hobos here in the eastern u.s.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 04:08 PM

2. Spiders should not jump....

Aren't they creepy enough without jumping being involved?

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Response to AJT (Reply #2)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 04:58 PM

3. Ah, so you don't like jumping spiders.

You prefer the ones that climb the walls and then lower themselves on silk to get to other places?

Or perhaps the tiny ones that can use silk threads as parachutes, letting breezes waft them in the air ... Or is that "into hair"?

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Response to Igel (Reply #3)

Sat Aug 17, 2019, 05:09 PM

4. I think the jumping spiders can do all of the above AND jump.

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