It's money spiders Vs aphids in the garden
Appeared on Space For Nature on 15th January 2004
Scientists have found that money spiders prefer to eat aphids when they can balance their diet by also eating small insects called 'springtails'.
The scientists at Cardiff University analysed the DNA in the stomach contents of tiny money spiders (from the family linyphiidae) to find out exactly what they eat. It seems that when there is plenty of choice, the spiders like to eat aphids. However aphids are of low nutritional value and sometimes toxic, so the spiders balance their diet with other animals, particularly tiny springtails.
It is thought that by encouraging springtails, the millions of money spiders which are present in the average acre could be induced to make more of a dent in the aphid population. The work is thought to be of particular significance for agriculture, but it's also possible to see its application in the garden.
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