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July 9 2013

Spider webs more effective at snaring electrically charged insects


Flapping insects build up an electrical charge that may make them more easily snared by spider webs, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley, biologists.

The positive charge on an insect such as a bee or fly attracts the web, which is normally negatively or neutrally charged, increasing the chances that an insect flying by will contact and stick to the web, said UC Berkeley post-doctoral fellow Victor Manuel Ortega-Jimenez.

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