While we humans are sprucing up our homes for the holidays, one type of spider is adding decorative flourishes to its web to lure prey more effectively. Does that mean insects are affected by artistic sensibilities?

According to a new study from the National University of Singapore, orb-weaver spiders will often include decorative touches in their webs. But these touches aren't an aesthetic choice; the web ornaments serve to attract unwitting smaller insects into the web.


The ornaments include the usual creepy spidery flare: the remnants of previous victims and old egg sacks. But these spider decorators also include woven baubles, twigs, and even brightly colored flower pieces. The festive detritus attracts the eyes of possible victims, much like the glittering displays in department store windows do for us.

The spiders that do decorate show a pretty huge increase in traffic: well-decorated spider webs show a more than 200% increase in ensnared victims.


Spiders Decorate Webs with Ornaments [Discovery News]