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Innkeeper Ariadnid

By Biofauna25
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Members of the Mandiblae class that produce a gummy silk are called Ariadnids (after Greek mythology's Ariadne), and one species has a very unique and rather sinister hunting method. Innkeeper Ariadnids (aka Birdhouse Ariadnids, Latin: Ariadne aviares) live in small female groups of three or four (males are solitary and nomadic) in a shared Pilian Tree. These females wrap the tree in layer upon layer of their silk until it resembles a giant cocoon that eventually kills the host Pilian for want of sunlight. Once the tree is dead, a few branches are sawed into chips of wood by the Ariadnids' forelimbs and used to reinforce their webbing (the spaces left where the branches used to support the web becomes the entrance/exit). From this point on, the sisters spend their time maintaining the hollow structure and stockpiling the corpses of exoskeletal radials (Entomins) caught in the silk, as well as collecting fruits and other herbivorous foods from the forest floor, though they eat none of it themselves. Their trap set, the Ariadnids need only wait for a storm.
Living in environments like Ghost Forests and Sponge Basins where large coastal storms are frequent, Innkeeper Ariadnids have provided the perfect shelter for larger flying and climbing animals who flock to the silken "inn" conveniently packed with food for their stay to weather the tempest. The Ariadnid sisters wait in the rafters for their tennants to fall asleep from the sedatives they have coated the food stores with (another substance produced from glands in their tails), and then they descend to take their pick of the now helpless animals. When the storm ends, most of the animals that took refuge in the silken safehouse leave and return to their daily lives, for the most part unaware that one or two of their number remain cocooned inside, serving as a meal for the Ariadnid sisters until the next storm.
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anonymous's avatar
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PeteriDish's avatar
I love this guy! kinda creepy, but kinda cute at the same time! :D
Biofauna25's avatar
Thanks! I thought I'd take that old phrase "come into my parlor" a bit more literally. :D
Orionide5's avatar
Creepy. Do other ariadnids just lay down messy sheet-webs like some spiders?
Biofauna25's avatar
A few do, but most just set up systems of signal wires or elastic trap cords through their territory.