If you needed more proof that all bugs are somehow working together to collectively scare the hell out of us, then this is for you. It seems a species of fruit fly called Goniurellia tridens has evolved a unique and totally creepy form of defense against predators: the fly bears wing markings that look like tattoos of twin spiders.
Photo by Peter Roosenschoon
The science blog Why Evolution is True recently posted a feature on this specimen, which was first documented in 1910 and is most commonly found in Asia and the Middle East.
There are many variations of the “painted-wing” fly, but tridens is the only one known to bear these spider-shaped markings. The rest of its body blends well into the leaves on which it is usually found, so all that's left to the naked eye is the illusion of tiny spiders – which it can “move” by flicking its wings when threatened.
Photo by Drew Gardner
One of its main predators is the jumping spider, which often gets confused by the tattoos. Some scientists theorize the spider may even try to do a mating display, which would give the fly just enough time to get the hell out before their cover is blown.