Feel Free To Scream At Any Time But Some Spiders Can Purr

"You're just too good to be true, can't take my eight eyes off of you." —A spider, probably

What's that sound? Is it your blinds gently billowing in the open window?

No, it's the soft murmurs of spiders courting. New Scientist has posted two clips of wolf spiders' love propositions — specifically, "purring" wolf spiders, or Gladicosa gulosa.

Here are the vibrations converted to audible sound:


(If for some reason the embeds don't work, you can listen to the recordings here.)

This particular species of male wolf spider, however, is an exception, using both vibrations and audible sounds.

The spider can only use acoustic communication if he is on a surface that is capable of vibrating, like a leaf, the researchers found. "On granite or wood or dirt, you get little to no vibration and almost no sound," lead author Alexander Sweger told BBC News.

And females only react if they're on a similar surface. To gather the sounds, the researchers set up a small recording studio and used female scents to instigate the males to purr.

Here's a sampling of the sounds you'd actually be able to hear if you were in the same room:


You'd be able to hear it up to a meter (a little over three feet) away, researcher George Uetz told New Scientist.

When they played back the acoustic sounds to the spiders without the vibrations, the female spiders still produced a significant response, but males did not. That suggests the sounds are used to court, and researchers hope to learn more about how females exactly "hear" the sounds.

Now to incorporate the sounds into noise machines for a gentle awakening.

H/T BBC News

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