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

Samantha Baines: “It’s time to leave our vaginas the hell alone”

The Call the Midwife star has her say on vaginal beauty treatments

by Kayleigh Dray
26 May 2017

Ramadan: The best places to break your fast in London

These London restaurants provide late night openings and special iftar menus

26 May 2017

10-year-old survivor’s letter to Ariana Grande is beyond beautiful

“I really hope you’re not too scared”

by Kayleigh Dray
26 May 2017

It’s official: this easy email hack is guaranteed to boost read rates

Make your emails stand out in your recipient's inbox with one simple trick

by Jasmine Andersson
26 May 2017

Fathers pay more attention to daughters than sons, new study shows

Dads are also "more emotionally engaged" with girls

by Anna Brech
26 May 2017

Men are totally devastated by this women-only Wonder Woman screening

Who knew they were such big fans of Diana Prince?

by Moya Crockett
26 May 2017

Dog breaks into studio to help reporter read the news

The internet is obsessed with this live news blooper (and for good reason)

by Kayleigh Dray
26 May 2017

“Get over yourself”: gymnast hits back at stranger who judged her arms

Alexandra Raisman responds to “rude and uncomfortable” incident

by Anna Brech
26 May 2017

Fighting for their rights: the heroic teens battling period taboos

"I wasn’t allowed to comb my hair, look in the mirror, attend school, read and write."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
25 May 2017

Twitter responds to terror threat level the only way it knows how

#BritishThreatLevels showcases the self-deprecating humour we Brits seem to love

by Amy Swales
25 May 2017