Snakes are on the menu for some spiders

A brown widow spider (Latrodectus geometricus) feeds on on a Brahminy blindsnake, (Indotyphlops braminus) in a garden house in Zaachila, Oaxaca, Mexico. Credit: Matias Martinez

All over the world, there are instances of snakes feeding on spiders, researchers found in a recent meta-analysis. In a study published in the Journal of Arachnology, a team of scientists found 319 instances of spiders preying on snakes. That’s surprising because snakes can be about 10-30 times the size of the arachnids. In fact, the largest documented snake caught by a spider was about 1 meter. “I was surprised that snake-eating by spiders can be found on all continents (except Antarctica),” study leader Martin Nyffeler and spider expert at the University of Basel in Switzerland told National Geographic. “I was surprised that so many different spider groups are capable of killing and eating snakes. I was surprised that so many different snake species are occasionally killed by spiders.” For example, they discovered snakes have killed venomous snakes like coral snakes and rattlesnakes in North and South America, brown snakes in Australia and sand vipers in Israel.

Read more in National Geographic and read the new study in the Journal of Arachnology.