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Fish-eating spiders are commonplace


Posted on Sunday, 22 June, 2014 | Comment icon 27 comments

Not even fish are safe from spiders. Image Credit: CC BY-2.0 Ian Kirk
Spiders that are capable of catching and killing fish are far more common than previously believed.
Conventionally when you think of spiders you think of them catching flies and insects in a web, yet according to a new study as many as 8 out of 109 families of spiders around the world engage in the practice of catching and eating fish.

Some spiders are able to do so by skittering across the surface of ponds while others lay in wait at the water's edge and pounce on unsuspecting fish as they swim past. In most cases the spiders inject their victim with venom to immobilize it.

"Pond fish were repeatedly caught by spiders in suburban/urban gardens of Adelaide, Brisbane, Lismore and Sydney or native freshwater fish were predated by spiders on the fringes of slow-flowing streams in New South Wales and Queensland," a recent report on the phenomenon stated.

"Evidence of the extent of fish predation by spiders in laboratory and field experiments suggests it is more widespread than traditionally thought."

The largest known fish to have been caught and killed by a spider was 9cm long.

Source: The Guardian | Comments (27)

Tags: Spider, Fish


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #18 Posted by hammerclaw on 24 June, 2014, 2:11
Sorry Sara.......8 centimeters in size.
Comment icon #19 Posted by smokeycat on 24 June, 2014, 11:19
They don't have spiders like that! Not around me anyway! Around where I live there are (Southern England).
Comment icon #20 Posted by gatekeeper32 on 24 June, 2014, 15:10
I smell a new horror movie.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Rose-Red Howler on 24 June, 2014, 16:33
Spiders do like baths too. Seeing spiders sat in water is really pretty.
Comment icon #22 Posted by Mantis914 on 25 June, 2014, 14:29
The spiders around here are quite content, there are a lot of june bugs and flies around to keep them busy for a long long time...
Comment icon #23 Posted by GlennThe14TH on 28 June, 2014, 0:25
They're amazing creatures, those spiders.
Comment icon #24 Posted by danielost on 28 June, 2014, 0:59
All creatures are amazing.
Comment icon #25 Posted by g00dfella on 28 June, 2014, 3:53
all living creatures adapts and evolves to best suit their situation to survive Insightful.. Topic is cool
Comment icon #26 Posted by Cards on 30 June, 2014, 23:46
A couple years ago I was tubing down a river (very leisurely pace); I got off the tube and went to the bank of the river. Running along the shore was a gigantic water spider -- by far the largest spider I've ever seen in the wild. It absolutely terrified me. It's leg span must have been 8". Now, bear in mind that this was in the midwest of the USA -- the largest spider I had seen prior to that was probably a fourth that size. I didn't realize that these things could swim, I thought they just lived near damp places. The possibility that it could've swam towards me is even more terrifying!
Comment icon #27 Posted by Rose-Red Howler on 1 July, 2014, 2:59
Water spiders are made for paddling. I think it was disturbed by the rushing of water. Water spiders breathe in water using air bubbles.


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