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Bagheera kiplingi

Updated on June 4, 2011

One of a kind

Of the 40,000 species of spider with whom we share our planet only one, so far, is found to be, by preference, a vegetarian. It will, on occassion, eat other small creatures such as ants and other spiders but more than 99 times out of hundred it feeds on acacia nectar and leaf tips. It is surprising that the odd habits of this little spider took so long to come to the attention of science as it is surprisingly common within the Mexican Acacia belt.

Bagheera kiplingi is unusual in more ways than one. I have yet to figure out how a spider which lives in Acacia trees in Mexico should take its name from 'Bagheera', the black leopard in Rudyard Kipling's ' The Jungle Book (and the author too of course).

Vegetarian spider (Bagheera kiplingi) hunts plant prey

 

This curious little spider has a semi symbiotic relationship with the ants it shares its domain. There is even a suggestion that it may even be quasi-social with its own kind.

Bagheera kiplingi

http://s29.photobucket.com/albums/c274/x13473/?action=view&current=Bagheerakiplingi.jpg
http://s29.photobucket.com/albums/c274/x13473/?action=view&current=Bagheerakiplingi.jpg

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  • Cindy Letchworth profile image

    Cindy Letchworth 8 years ago from Midwest, U.S.A.

    How interesting!

  • Peter Dickinson profile image
    Author

    Peter Dickinson 8 years ago from South East Asia

    Such is the web of life that when a butterfly dies alone in a jungle a thousand miles away we are affected. We will not notice but a very small change...very small indeed...has taken place in our lives.

  • Shalini Kagal profile image

    Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

    What an unusual name! And what an unusual spider! It's sad that man tends to destroy whatever frightens him - the web of Nature's balance is so delicate with a place for every creature and we upset that so much!

  • Peter Dickinson profile image
    Author

    Peter Dickinson 8 years ago from South East Asia

    I worry about the bees a lot. Their plight is not being given enough attention.

  • dohn121 profile image

    dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

    I tell you, Peter. People tell me how much they despise such things as bats and spiders, but without them, we'd have about 500 times more insects! More likely than not, the person that discovered and named this spider was certainly a fan of Rudyard Kipling. One scientist named a disease of a certain owl after Gary Larson! Bagheera is such a great name. Thanks again.

  • Peter Dickinson profile image
    Author

    Peter Dickinson 8 years ago from South East Asia

    Just don't sleep with your mouth open.

  • sarahtrudeau profile image

    sarahtrudeau 8 years ago from India

    Ah, you like spiders... how cute ;)

    I have enormous black spiders with reflective eyes on my walls every night- despite the fact that I am told they are "harmless," they scare the shit out of me. I wish I had been told they were vegetarian.