Many things are known about spiders, first of all that they are not the most sociable animals in the world. You will have happened to observe, in the garden or between the corners of the ceiling, a battle between arachnids preceding the macabre cannibalism. However, there are some groups of wall climbers who they prefer to live in communityhelping each other.
“One of the conditions for being social animals is have a bigger brain”, said Professor Alexander Mikheyev of the Australian National University. “Not only do they need to memorize information about the physical environment, but also about the social one”.
There is a “but”, as Mikheyev rightly points out: spiders don’t have a brainbut distribute their neurons throughout the body. Ergo, the nervous system of “social spiders” is more complex than solitary ones. The authors chose to study genes associated with sociability in arachnids, as they evolved independently.
The most famous example of spider sociality comes from the Kalahari where large colonies form huge webs. A recent study also looked at the practice of mothers Delena cancerides who protect their children, an attitude that the document defines as “subsocial”. In short, Mikheyev and co-authors have done their utmost to analyze the 22 social and subsocial species, without finding revealing amino acid differences between the two subgroups.
However, some have been found genes whose changes are associated with sociabilitysuch as the substitutions of the gene that codes for the “protein 4” containing Brodomain. Furthermore, social spider species appear to exhibit more rapid molecular evolution than their non-social counterparts. The authors attribute this result to consanguineous intercourse occurring in the colony.
However, Mikheyev told IFLScience: “To a large extent we are witnessing one tolerance rather than cooperation. It’s not like with antsEven sharing space is a challenge for spiders, let alone letting others join in on their solitary hunting trips.