Haslemere Natural History Society

Providing a focus for enthusiastic naturalists of all ages

Surprising examples of intelligence in insects and spiders

Date: 14 January 2023
Time: 14:15
Indoor Meeting

VIRTUAL PRESENTATION ON ZOOM by Rupert Soskin (nature photographer, naturalist, writer and author of the impressive book “Metamorphosis.”)

This was held as a Zoom presentation with 26 members logging on.In higher creatures the young gain intelligence from their parents but young insects and spiders develop by themselves and are given no survival techniques.
Rupert posed the question: “How is intelligence evaluated?”  Humans tend to judge animal behaviour for their own prospective (anthropomorphism).
Rupert has studied and often photographed young spiders, Passalidae beetles and young stick insects.  The latter were clones with different colours and markings but that had no bearing on the way they behaved. He has closely watched an ant summoning help from others and the hunting technique of a Portia Jumping Spider.
Social insects such as bees and wasps appear to be more intelligent than those living singly. Bees do a “waggle dance”; some cut into flowers to reach the nectar more easily; and some can recognise each other’s faces –and even humans.

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