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must confess that i had not heard of this before. 

for our seppo brethren, the redback is very similar to your black widow, i believe. not sure you have anything close to as venomous as a brown gets, baby or not. 

 

Terrifying scenes as redback eats baby brown snake for dinner

Ally Foster, news.com.au
March 1, 2019 4:09pm
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A Victorian woman took a series of horrifying pictures on Wednesday that makes it very easy to understand why many tourists are terrified of Australian wildlife.

Robyn McLennan came across a terrifying scene at Gapsted Wines in the state’s northeast, after she spotted a redback spider devouring what she believed to be a baby eastern brown snake.

Instead of running away screaming like most people would, Ms McLennan decided to get some close up shots.

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Don’t worry Robyn, it’s not like I wanted to sleep tonight anyway. Picture: Robyn McLennan

She uploaded the pictures to Facebook, noting that the spider had “brought the snake entirely off the ground” and suspended it in mid air.

Redback spiders have been known to prey on small lizards and snakes from time to time, but that doesn’t make the sight any less frightening.

They catch the larger prey by creating a trap that they get tangled in or crawl underneath and bite them before they can react.

5390129e1ef619ad98dcfa1c529d0aa9?width=1024   Who wouldn’t want to come to Australia with stuff like this happening? Picture: Robyn McLennan

For bigger catches like this snake, the spider will inject digestive fluid into the animal to soften its insides before sucking it all up.

People were understandably freaked out by the pictures, with many in shock that a spider could actually kill a snake.

“I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it myself,” Ms McLennan said, when commenter questioned how the spider could do that.

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a few more.

 

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190301-1spider-full.jpg?ixlib=rails-2.1.

A tarantula  (genus Pamphobeteus)  preying on a mouse opossum (genus Marmosops).

Maggie Grundler

The comforting notion that an evolutionary hierarchy more or less governs predator-prey relationships – specifically, that vertebrates eat invertebrates, and not the other way around – has been roundly demolished by a team of researchers armed with cameras.

"This is an underappreciated source of mortality among vertebrates,” says evolutionary biologist Daniel Rabosky from the University of Michigan in the US. “A surprising amount of death of small vertebrates in the Amazon is likely due to arthropods such as big spiders and centipedes.”

For some years, Rabosky and colleagues have been venturing into the lowland Amazon rainforest, looking for examples of arthropods – invertebrate animals with exoskeletons – capturing and chowing down on victims with backbones.

A paper published in the journal Amphibian & Reptile Conservation demonstrates that their missions were certainly not in vain.

They report – and show – many incidences of spiders, as well as a few centipedes and in one case a giant water bug, taking vertebrate prey, including frogs, tadpoles, lizards, snakes, and even a small opossum.

“These events offer a snapshot of the many connections that shape food webs, and they provide insights into an important source of vertebrate mortality that appears to be less common outside the tropics,” says co-author Rudolf von May.

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A fishing spider (genus Thaumasia) preying on a tadpole in a pond.

Emanuele Biggi 190301-3spider-full.jpg?fit=clip&w=835

A wandering spider (genus Ancylometes) in the lowland Amazon rainforest preying on a tree frog.

Emanuele Biggi 190301-4spider-full.jpg?fit=clip&w=835

A tarantula preying on a Bolivian bleating frog (Hamptophryne Boliviana).

Emanuele Biggi 190301-5spider-full.jpg?fit=clip&w=835

A wandering spider (Ctenidae) preying on a frog (Leptodactylus Didymus).

Pascal Title
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