Scientists find fish-eating spiders across the world

By Elizabeth Learned,

Scientists have discovered there are fish-eating spiders all across the world.

According to BBC News, the study came from Martin Nyffeler, who is associated with Switzerland’s University of Basel and Bradley Pusey, who is associated with the University of Western Australia.

The two men found evidence that some species of spiders who live near the water do eat fish. They observed spiders in both natural and laboratory settings, finding that in the wild, about five families of spiders ate small fish while in the laboratory, three other families of spider species caught fish.

These spiders are able to catch larger fish because they have the use of poisons. They have neurotoxins and enzymes that allow them to be able to incapacitate the fish and eventually eat them.

Dr. Nyffeler reportedly said, “Our evidence suggests that fish might be an occasional prey item of substantial nutritional importance.”

USA Today reported that specifically, the study found there were around 18 species of these spiders that caught fish in natural settings. Some of the spiders were classified as semi-aquatic since they had the ability to walk on the surface of the water, as well as being able to swim and dive into these waters.

Many of the fish that were caught were freshwater and the spiders were found on all but one continent, which was Antarctica. The incidents of fish-eating spiders being found occurred in North America, mostly in the wetlands of Florida.

Reportedly, it is rare that spiders will only use fish as their prey and they will most likely have easier access to the smaller fish in bodies of water that are shallower.



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