Scientists have recently discovered real fish-eating spiders that can be found all over the world. While spiders are known for their stealthy insect-catching and eating abilities, researchers found that they are also capable of consuming fish.
Publishing in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, University of Basel in Switzerland zoologist and spider expert Martin Nyffeler and University of Western Australia scientist Bradley Pusey documented over 80 incidences of spiders killing and eating fish. Their research has proven that spiders do not exclusively eat insects and can eat other forms of protein.
Studying 18 different species of spiders, the research observed spiders catching and eating fish in the wild. According to Nyffeler:
“The finding of such a large diversity of spiders engaging in fish predation is novel. (The spiders) have evolved very potent neurotoxins (for) killing fish within seconds to minutes. They are well-adapted for a life near and in the water. One of the purposes of this study was to stir up the interest among scientists for these very interesting semi-aquatic animals.”
With the majority of the spiders being semi-aquatic, the arthropods would wait near the waters edge with their back legs anchored to attack. When a fish approaches, they pierce the fish with a venomous bite and drag the fish to dry land to feed on it.
The research also showed that spiders can consume other animals as well such as bats, birds, mice, snakes and lizards.
Scientists Discover Real Fish-Eating Spiders All Over the World.