The researchers with Villanova University and Brandeis University, said the spider, the Bagheera kiplingi, lives throughout Central America and southern Mexico.
The spider is found in several species of acacia shrubs that are guarded by ants. The spiders are able to eat the nectar of the plant and its leaf tips through an act of "active avoidance" of the ants, the researchers said in a statement. ].... Yet the fast, stealthy Bagheera has figured out how to leap from thorn to thorn to collect its meal?while avoiding the highly aggressive ants.
Though the spider does occasionally snack on ant larvae, the bulk of their diet is plants, Meehan said.
"It is utterly surreal," he said, "to see a spider use such effective hunting strategies to hunt a plant." ]