Avoid Wearing This Color If You Hate Spiders

If you hate spiders , you might want to pay closer attention to the clothes you wear.

That's because some spiders pay more attention to colour than we previously thought, according to new research from the University of Cincinnati.

Researchers looked at how wolf spiders reacted to a video of courting spiders where the background colour, contrast and intensity was manipulated.

They found that female spiders were more likely to respond to videos featuring males that contrasted sharply with their background.

Now scientists want to know: Does this ability to perceive color extend to their drabbier cousins, the wolf spider? The answer: yes, but only if it is green.

Unlike humans with trichromatic vision, wolf spiders have dichromatic vision. This means that while we can detect red, green, and blue light, these eight-legged creatures can only make out green and ultraviolet light.

George Uetz, a professor of biology at the University of Cincinnati, presented the research with his students at the American Arachnological Society meeting in June. His lab contains 1,200 or so wolf spiders, making it every arachnophobe's worst nightmare but the ideal setting to study spider behavior.

"What we found is that for female spiders, intensity matters more than colour. But for male eavesdroppers, colour matters, too. That is the odd finding. We didn't expect that at all," Uetz said.

The researchers were also surprised to find that spider eyesight appears to adapt to the changing seasons.

"That makes a lot of sense because when you go out in the early season when the spiders first come out, there are no leaves on the trees so there is broad spectrum light," said Uetz.

"But as the seasons change, leaves come out and everything turns green. Spiders have to be able to see the contrast against a lot of color backgrounds."

Now, here's a video of a wolf spider doing his best to attract a mate.

Discovery/Youtube

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