Contrary to popular assumptions, spiders are not exclusively looking for insects to eat. Certain larger sized species supplement their diet by occasionally catching small fish, new findings showed.

"The finding of such a large diversity of spiders engaging in fish predation is novel. Our evidence suggests that fish might be an occasional prey item of substantial nutritional importance," said Martin Nyffeler from the University of Basel in Switzerland.

These spiders have powerful neurotoxins and enzymes that enable them to kill and digest fish that often exceed them in size and weight.

In order to catch its prey, the spider will typically anchor its hind legs to a stone or a plant, with its front legs resting on the surface of the water, ready to ambush.

The fish will then be dragged to a dry place before the feeding process can begin which usually lasts several hours.

The researchers have gathered and documented numerous incidents of spiders predating fish from all around the world.

The study appeared in the journal PLOS ONE.


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