Study: Madagascar’s Huntsman Spiders Eat Frogs

As per a study, scientists have pointed out that Huntsman spiders in Madagascar eat tiny frogs. It is suspected that the Huntsman spiders weave “traps” made of leaves to catch their prey. This trap made up of leaves lure the frogs and they get inside it for protection from the sun.

Key Points

  • In the year 2017, scientists spotted a spider in the Damastes genus catching a Heterixalus andrakata tree frog.
  • It was the second time that Madagascar spiders were caught catching and eating frogs.
  • The spider was able to trap the frog in a pocket made from two leaves.
  • The leaves from which the pocket was made were still attached to a tree and the edges of the leaves were sealed together with spider silk and only a small opening was left.
  • The researchers also found three more spiders to get into such leave shelters.
  • Spiders eat up to 880 million tons of insects every year, but they can eat animals with backbones too.
  • Tropical spiders eat fish, lizards, frogs, etc. resulting in death among small vertebrates in the Peruvian Amazon.
  • Also, Bat-eating spiders are found on every continent except Antarctica.
  • Spiders have a wide variety of their prey like a pet goldfish in South Africa; a tadpole in western India; and even a pygmy possum in Southern Tasmania.

H. andrakata frogs are around 32 millimeters long and are slightly bigger than the Damastes spiders which hunt them.