The woolly webs of orb-weaver spiders form an inescapable trap around prey. But it’s not just the threads’ tangles that ensnare meals. As researchers reported this week (May 31) in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the waxy coating on some insects teams up with fibers from the spider web to form a composite adhesive material, gluing prey in place. Thus, in a rather dark turn of events, the insect’s cuticle promotes its own capture.

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