Nature is a great leveler and also helps in evolution leading to species getting fitter and better adapted to the surroundings. If you live in a big city and don’t encounter spiders, you will definitely have one now. A new study in Australia point out that spiders are getting bigger and are multiplying much faster in cities as otherwise in a rural setting.
Researchers from the University of Sydney were surprised to find that the golden orb weaver spiders which inhabit highly urbanized cities are bigger, better fed and multiply at a much faster rate as compared to their less fortunate brethren who live in the countryside. This frightening conclusion was made in a study which envisaged collecting 222 female golden orb weaver spiders from different localities of Sydney. The rate of urbanization was then calculated on the basis of factors like leaf-litter cover, grass coverage and amount of hard surfaces, such as concrete. The researchers then studied the spider’s fertility potential on the basis of factors like spiders’ body size, fat reserves and ovary weight.
The researchers gave the following reasons for the difference between the spiders in the urban and the countryside. The hot microclimates precipitated by the paved-over city makes an ideal environment for the growth and the thriving of spiders and are responsible for what the researchers dubbed as the super-spider trend.
One of the study’s authors told The Atlantic’s CityLab they believe two factors present in most cities are responsible for this so-called super spider trend. The massive amount of artificial light also attracts a large number of insects which means large amount of food.
This news could send jitters down the spine of city dwellers. However spiders are actually beneficial because they keep harmful and irritating insects under control