Mallos gregalis

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Mallos gregalis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Superfamily: Dictynoidea
Family: Dictynidae
Genus: Mallos
Species: M. gregalis
Binomial name
Mallos gregalis
(Simon, 1909)

Mallos gregalis is a spider species belonging to the Dictynidae biological family.[1] M. gregalis spiders live in Mexico. Discovered by French naturalists in the previous century, M. gregalis were again brought to light in the 1970s by Wes Burgess,[2] [3] working for Scientific American and the North Carolina Mental Health Research Foundation. M. gregalis live in groups containing thousands of individuals together on a sheet-like spider web. Like other social spiders, the unique qualities of M. gregalis' web help make their social lifestyle possible.[4][5] Their web preferentially transmits the vibrations of flies caught in the web while dampening out the vibrations caused by other spiders, thus allowing the M. gregalis spiders to distinguish between the prey and each other.[6] The smell of previously eaten fly bodies helps attract other flies to M. gregalis' web.[7]


  1. ^ Platnick, Norman I. (2009): The world spider catalog, version 9.5. American Museum of Natural History.
  2. ^ Burgess, J. Wesley. (1976): Social Spiders. Scientific American, vol 234, pp 99-106. (1976).
  3. ^ Burgess, J. Wesley. (1978): Social behavior in group-living spider species. Template:Peter Merrett, Editor (1978): Arachnology. Symposia, Zoological Society of London, Number. 42. Academic Press, London.
  4. ^ Burgess, J. Wesley and Witt, Peter N. (1976): Spider webs: Design and engineering. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, vol 1, pp 322-335.
  5. ^ Witt, Peter N. and Burgess, J. Wesley. (1978): Spider webs: Design and engineering. Naturwissenschafteliche Rundschau, vol 31, pp 269-282.
  6. ^ Burgess, J. Wesley. (1979): Web-signal processing for tolerance and group predation in the social spider Mallos gregalis. Animal Behavior, vol 27, pp 157-164.
  7. ^ Tietjen, William James; Ayyagari, Rao; Uetz, George W. Uetz [1] Symbiosis between social spiders and yeast: the role in prey attraction.