Spiders, all species in general, are highly intelligent. They respond if you drop a bug into their web but this isn’t just a natural hunger response. If you feed the spider regularly or on occasion the spider will tell you when it is hungry by begging. If the spider normally hides by hanging under a ledge, between cracks, in a hole it will move where it can be seen to the center or near center of the web. When it sees you it may do nothing or it may wriggle around.
Both are signs of begging.
To really understand how intelligent spiders are is seeing their ability to play dead. If you accidentally drop a bug in the spider’s web that falls on the spider the response to the hit will be one of three things.
1. The spider goes after the bug.
2. The spider runs and hides.
3. The spider falls out of the web, balls up, and lies still and looks dead.
In the third response the spider only looks dead but it is actually playing dead. Now it could be that the spider temporarily gets knocked out from being hit by a falling bug. After all, the bug is being dropped building stories down when it collides with the spider. But if you touch the spider either at first touch or after several touches the spider suddenly springs to life and will usually run away.
In touching a spider there is always a chance of getting bit.
The intelligence of spiders is shown in their ability to play dead. Playing dead indicates proof that there is more to these inventive little web spinners than we can possibly imagine.
Spiders may play dead in many instances.
1. The spider is wounded.
2. The spider is sick.
3. The spider is in fear of a larger bug that poses a deadly threat.
4. The spider is caught in its own web.
5. The spider is afraid of its towering arch nemesis the human.
6. The spider sees no escape route.
From the spider we can learn that the insect world has derived a system common linked among all species…survival. The spider has learned to employ the clever illusion of defeat…death. It mimics what many animals do, humans included, when what rests in survival is appearing as no threat so that the real threat passes over and leaves leaving its prey somewhat unscathed.