[caption id="attachment_63572" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Yasunori Maezono, Kyoto University, Japan
Bat-eating spiders are common and apparently creep around every continent, except Antarctica, devouring various bat species. Here, a dead bat (Rhinolophus cornutus orii) caught in the web of a female Nephila pilipes on Amami-O, Japan.[/caption]Bat Eating Spiders are Everywhere
Researchers studying one hundred years’ worth of data regarding the feeding habits of spiders now conclude that spiders do regularly eat bats. Their conclusion states that the practice is wide spread at least in terms of which continents it occurs on. With the exception of Antarctica, spiders are known to feed on bats on every continent.
In Japan, the female Nephila pilipes spider spins a wide web fully capable of ensnaring a bat while in flight. The Nephila pilipes then bites the bat and later eats it's prey. Scientists have observed the Nephila clavipes spider likewise ensnaring bats in its native habit of Peru.
The same species of Nephila clavipes has been observed eating it's bat-prey in Guatemala, Central America. Down under in Australia, the Nephila pilipes also hunts bats.
In Southern Africa, the Nephilengys cruentata has been found to hunt bats in Swaziland. In the oriental city of Hong Kong, the Nephila pilipes also hunts on bats.
Researchers have determined 52 cases of bat-eating spiders throughout the world. However, 90% of the cases of bat-eating spiders occur in warmer climates. These spiders have a leg span of four to six inches and are capable of spinning webs with a diameter of five feet.
The finds were published on online March 13 in the journal PLOS ONE.
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