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)

Coenothele gregalis Simon, 1909

Mallos gregalis is a spider species belonging to the family Dictynidae. It is endemic to Mexico.[1]

Discovered by French naturalists in the previous century, M. gregalis were again brought to light in the 1970s by Wes Burgess through his research on their social lifestyle.[2][3] 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. ^ World Spider Catalog (2017). "Mallos gregalis (Simon, 1909)". World Spider Catalog, version 17.5. Natural History Museum Bern. Retrieved 11 January 2017. 
  2. ^ Burgess, J. Wesley (March 1976). "Social spiders". Scientific American. 234 (3): 100–106. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0376-100. 
  3. ^ Burgess, J. Wesley (1978). "Social behavior in group-living spider species". In P. Merrett. Arachnology, 7th International Congress. Symposia of the Zoological Society of London No. 42. Published for the Zoological Society of London by Academic Press. ISBN 978-0-12-613342-4. 
  4. ^ Burgess, J. Wesley; Witt, Peter N. (1976). "Spider webs: Design and engineering". Interdisciplinary Science Reviews. 1 (4): 322–335. doi:10.1179/030801876789768327. 
  5. ^ Witt, Peter N.; Burgess, J. Wesley (1978). "Spider webs: Design and engineering". Naturwissenschaftliche Rundschau. 31: 269–282. 
  6. ^ Burgess, J. Wesley (1979). "Web-signal processing for tolerance and group predation in the social spider Mallos gregalis Simon". Animal Behaviour. 27: 157–164. doi:10.1016/0003-3472(79)90135-0. 
  7. ^ Tietjen, William James; Ayyagari, L. Rao; Uetz, George W. (1987). "Symbiosis between social spiders and yeast: the role in prey attraction". Psyche. 94 (1-2): 151–158. doi:10.1155/1987/67258.