Wednesday, February 29, 2012
In South Africa button spiders (Latrodectus, Theridiidae) or widow spiders a they are called elsewhere in the world are represented by at least six species. The photos at the left were reported taken in 2004 in South Africa. The snake is reported to be a 14cm long Aurora house snake (Lamprophis aurora) and the event reported occurred in an office in South Africa. The photos and an accompaning story resurfaced today on the UK web outlet Mail.com. Invertebrate predation on vertebrates has been documented in a variety of publications (see citation of a review paper below), but it is always novel to find what is usually considered the unexpected - arthropods feeding on reptiles.
McCORMICK, S. and POLIS, G. A. (1982), ARTHROPODS THAT PREY ON VERTEBRATES. Biological Reviews, 57: 29–58.