Friday, 29 May 2015

'Purring' Wolf Spiders Softly Serenade Mates

by Laura Geggel, Staff Writer | May 28, 2015 11:30am ET

Male wolf spiders use "purring" vibrations to serenade their sweethearts, but this wooing only works if the females can feel these vibrations, new research finds.

For the females to feel these vibrations, the courting couple must be standing on a suitable surface that can vibrate, like dry leaves, the researchers said in the new study.

Scientists had known that wolf spiders could make airborne sounds that are audible to humans. But this group of spiders doesn't have typical ears, and it's assumed that the critters can't actually hear any airborne sounds, said Alexander Sweger, a doctoral student of biology at the University of Cincinnati, who presented the unpublished research at the Acoustical Society of America's annual meeting in Pittsburgh on May 21. [Watch Wolf Spiders Make "Purring" Vibrations (Video)]

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