Bagheera kiplingi is the only vegetarian spider out of around 40,000 species. It exploits a partnership between ants and acacia trees. The ants defend the trees, which repays with hollow thorns for shelter, and nutritious nodules for food. These are called “Beltian bodies” and B.kiplingi has learned to steal them, using stealth, powerful jumping legs and silken safety lines to avoid being attacked. The Beltian bodies make up the majority of its diet, but no one knows how B.kiplingi copes with them. They’re high in fibre and spiders cannot chew their food; they only “drink” prey that has already been liquefied by their venom.
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