Dramatic Clash Between Giant Spiders and Venomous Snakes Ends with an Unexpected Twist (Video)

Spiders taking down and feasting on snakes is more common than researchers thought. Scientists have found more than 300 reported cases of 30 spider species preying on dozens of species of snakes . Some of these snakes are hundreds of times heavier than the arachnid preying on them, researchers found. Here’s a look at some of the gruesome spider-on-snake feasting. The research, and photos, come from the following publication: Martin Nyffeler and J. Whitfield Gibbons (2021). Spiders feeding on snakes. Journal of Arachnology 49, 1-27.

Black widow enjoys a snack

A black widow spider enjoys a meal of juvenile scarlet snake in Georgia. Black widow venom contains a toxin called α-latrotoxin, which targets the nervous system of vertebrates, allowing these spiders to kill prey many times their size.

Eyelash viper gets trapped

A very venomous eyelash viper gets trapped in the web of a golden silk orb-weaver spider in Costa Rica. The snake is 15.7 inches (40 centimeters) long. Its venom will likely do little good in this situation; there are no recorded instances of a snake successfully biting and injecting venom into a spider.

Meal of a lifetime

A young Eastern garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) finds itself in a bad situation in Douglas, Georgia. A brown widow (Latrodectus geometricus), meanwhile, prepares for the meal of a lifetime.

Tarantula v. snake

It’s spider versus snake in the forest of the Pará state in Brazil. A tarantula captures a juvenile false coral snake of the genus Oxyrhopus and carries it back to its burrow. Tarantulas don’t weave webs, but rather they hunt prey on the ground or in trees.

Eating a baby snake

An adult female black widow (Latrodectus hesperus) feeds upon a young coral snake (Micruroides euryxanthus) near the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior, Arizona. Most snakes successfully killed and eaten by spiders are babies or juveniles, though there are examples of snakes up to a meter long being taken.

Widows are wicked

Widow spiders were responsible for about half of reports of spiders killing snakes. Here, a brown widow spider (Latrodectus geometricus) eats a Brahminy blindsnake (Indotyphlops braminus) in Zaachila, Oaxaca, Mexico.

Goliath birdeater defeats vipter

The fer-de-lance is a pit viper with venom deadly to humans. In this staged photograph taken in Venezuela, though, a tarantula called the Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi) easily defeats and consumes the dangerous viper.

Porch fight

Spiders don’t just prey on snakes in exotic, wild locales. This scarlet snake met its fate in the corner of a front porch in Gulf Breeze, Florida, where a black widow had set up shop


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