When Enemies Come to Help

Krabbenspinne auf Blüte

Auf den Blüten sitzend, lauern Krabbenspinnen auf ihre Beute. (Bild: Anina C. Knauer)

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Now UZH researchers show that this principle also holds for crab spiders and flowering plants. While it’s true that the spiders do eat or drive away useful pollinators such as bees, they’re also attracted by floral scent signals to come and help if the plant is attacked by insects intent on eating it.

This research was carried out by SPSW member Prof. Florian Schiestl with his team at the Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany of the University of Zurich.

Reference publication
Anina C. Knauer, Moe Bakhtiari and Florian P. Schiestl. Crab spiders impact floral-signal evolution indirectly through removal of florivores. Nature Communications. April 10, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-03792-x

UZH News, 10.4.2018