Page last updated at 16:18 GMT, Monday, 12 October 2009 17:18 UK

'Veggie spider' dodges ant attack

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A spider that dines almost exclusively on plants has been described by scientists.

It is the first-known predominantly vegetarian spider; all of the other known 40,000 spider species are thought to be mainly carnivorous.

Bagheera kiplingi, which is found in Central America and Mexico, bucks the meat-eating trend by feasting on acacia plants.

The research is published in the journal Current Biology.

To spiders feast on the tips of acacia plants, which are packed full of protein.

But to get to them, they have to dodge attacks from aggressive ants, which patrol the plants to fend off invaders.

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