Tuesday, 2 January 2007

Fangs a bunch

Some time ago, I collected a handful* of slater-killer spiders (Dysdera crocata) from the garden. After taking photos, I released all but one.

That doughty individual has built a retreat (a barrel of silk covered in soil) in its container. I chuck it a small to mid-sized slater every few days. Until now, the spider has been quite shy about eating in public but last night it hurled itself on the luckless crustacean.

Because I'd only just collected the slater, it was still curled up. That didn't perturb the spider, which dug its chelicerae into a minute gap in the armour. After a while, it dragged the slater into the corner and stood watch. I left it to its meal.

* Not literally. Have you seen the fangs on those things?


Duncan said...

That's a new one on me Snail, maybe they they don't occur up here.

Snail said...

If you've got them, they'll be under stones and debris in the garden.

They're introduced so they've probably got a very patchy distribution. It'd be interesting to know just where they occur around the state.

*makes note to self about small project for the weekends*

sarala said...

I can do without watching the thing eat. Yuck. Have you ever seen a praying mantis eat? I caught a big one once, unfortunately before my photography days. Put me off meat for a day or two. Mmm crunchy.
Obviously these spiders have made it to Chicago, Illinois although it is the first I'd ever seen.