Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Scientists report that fish-eating spiders are more common than previously thought

rexfeatures-3800689a.jpg
rexfeatures-3800690a.jpg

In what is probably the most terrifying news of the week, spiders can now eat things that are twice their size.

The discovery was made by scientists who published a paper on Wednesday in PLoS ONE, which states that "fish predation by semi-aquatic spiders is geographically widespread, occurring on all continents except Antarctica".

While it's been known for sometime that certain species of spiders are fond of a bit of fish, it wasn't clear how common it was among our eight-legged friends (or foe, depending on how you see it).

According to the report, the pescatarian arachnids belong to eight different taxonomic families but only one of the spiders lives underwater. Most of the areas in which these types of spiders can be found in the warmer areas of the world, such as Australia, central Africa and southeastern USA.

The way in which they catch their prey is also rather lovely (note the sarcasm), they wait on a rock for a fish to touch one of their legs before diving into the water and biting the neck of their prey, killing them. Then they drag it onto land and eat it.

True, spiders do normally eat insects but occasionally kill fish 2-6 cm in length, about 2.2 times the size of their own bodies.

Just one quick question: how long will it take until they can start eating things even bigger than a fish?

Good luck sleeping tonight.

(Main image: Rex Features)

Related

untitled-2.jpg

The coolest cats we've ever seen

fat-cat-inserted-into-art-svetlana-petrova-7.jpg

Artist re-imagines classic paintings using pictures of her fat cat

chunky.jpg

Fat cat Chunky needs a loving home

hero.jpg

New home gym adverts show cute kittens working out

tortoise.jpg

Cute Alert: Really, Really Tiny Tortoise

hero2.jpg

Bags that look like animals

Comments

More

“How Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington gave my generation a voice"

The musician leaves a lasting legacy

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Jul 2017

The grossly sexist ads we can’t believe exist in the 21st century

From a Co-op egg to that deeply offensive Protein World poster

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Jul 2017

How your Love Island obsession is wreaking havoc with your health

Experts have genuinely issued a warning…

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Jul 2017

Boots won’t cut morning-after pill price because we can’t be trusted

Cheaper emergency contraception? Unprotected sex party at ours, everyone!

by Amy Swales
21 Jul 2017

Did Japan’s First Lady pretend not to speak English to ignore Trump?

Akie Abe, we salute you.

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Jul 2017

This 'Beer For Her' has managed to offend everyone on Twitter

Apparently womankind can only ever drink from pink receptacles

by Megan Murray
21 Jul 2017

This Instagram account is aiming to break the miscarriage taboo

Women are coming together to share their stories of loss

by Megan Murray
21 Jul 2017

Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor Who salary revealed after gender pay gap row

And it may surprise you…

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Jul 2017

Quiz: which famous duo are you and your work wife?

It’s time to find out, once and for all, who you and your work wife really are…

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Jul 2017

You’ve been making your tea wrong this whole time, reveal tea experts

Wait, what?

by Jasmine Andersson
20 Jul 2017