The sticky lure of the bolas spider attracts prey thanks to a coating that smells like the female sex pheromone of certain moths.

“So called for their talent for producing a large, sticky, ball-shaped lure that is twirled around on the end of a silken rope, held by one of their eight legs, the cunning bolas spider coats the object with a special secretion that smells like the female sex pheromone of certain moths, thus attracting males of these species. When the spider detects their fluttering wing movements close by, it begins whirling its scented lure in the air. Irresistibly drawn by the deceptive odor, the male moths come closer. When they are close enough, the spider deftly hits them with the lure, trapping them on its sticky surface. When satisfied with its catch of up to eight moths in one night, the spider hauls in the lure, and wraps each moth in silk, to be eaten later.” (Shuker 2001:30)

Last Updated August 18, 2016