That's right, this Amazonian arachnid can fling its web at your face. But it prefers to take aim at tasty bugs rather than wait for them to walk onto its web.
Georgia Institute of Technology graduate student Troy Alexander spotted this daredevil spider at the Tambopata Research Center jungle lodge in Peru, and Jeff Cremer captured its maneuver on video. The spider is a member of the family Theridiosomatidae and the team studying it believes that it may be the species Naatlo splendida. This little critter measures just three millimeters across, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in engineering.
LiveScience explains how the slingshot web works:
The miniscule spider builds a fairly ordinary web, about the size of the palm of a human hand. But in the middle, it creates a silk drawstring that it affixes to a nearby solid surface, but bunches up in the terminal hooks on its legs to pull the web off-center into a cone shape. The tiny hunter waits until it somehow senses the approaching bugs, and then releases the drawstring.
Yet another example of how marvelous—and terrifying—spiders can be.
Crazy! Spider Launches Slingshot Web to Snag Prey [LiveScience]