A jumping spider eating a frog

A jumping spider species with a mere one-inch long body has been discovered to eat lizards and frogs up to three times its size.

“A vertebrate-eating jumping spider (Araneae: Salticidae) from Florida, USA”, a new study published in the Journal of Arachnology, documented cases when regal jumping spiders were spotted hunting and eating animals bigger than themselves, such as lizards and frogs.

This is the first time that time scientists have published observations of jumping spiders eating vertebrates.

It’s True

Martin Nyfeller, the co-author of the study and a conservation biologist at Switzerland’s University of Basel, had explored the Internet for reports of regal spiders eating vertebrates. He found a total of eight accounts throughout seven counties in Florida.

One report is from nature blogger Loret Setters of Holopaw. She had found a regal jumping spider biting down on a Cuban tree frog, which is an invasive frog species presently spreading in Florida.

Amateur spider scholar Jeff Hollenbeck’s sighting, on the other hand, involved a female regal jumping spider with a Carolina anole lizard between its jaws.

Fantastic Predators

According to Hollenbeck, the spider species are bold hunters. They have impressive eyesight that ensures them a successful hunt, he added.

The jumping spiders will prey on vertebrates larger than themselves when they get hungrier, said Thomas C. Jones, a behavioural ecologist at East Tennessee State University.

Nyfeller believes that this behaviour is likely rare for this spider species and, because of the spider’s natural evasiveness, it has remained undocumented until now.

Bayle, A. (2017, August 14). Jumping spider from Florida preys on frogs, lizards | Inquirer Technology.

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