August 11, 2022

Arachnophobes look away now

In an almost sci-fi-level scary headline, a deadly group of spiders have been spotted catching and eating bats for the very first time in the UK.

As captured by wildlife photographer Ben Waddams, a juvenile pipistrelle bat can be seen wrapped in the web of the invasive noble false widow species of spider. It’s times like this when we remember how crazy nature is.

The sighting – which is the first of its kind seen among the behaviour of the species ever (at least here in Britain) – was published in Ecosphere journal under the heading: “Webslinger vs. Dark Knight” and described how Waddams found a small colony of bats living in the corner of his attic back in 2017.

Credit: Ecosphere/Ben Waddams

It goes to explain how in the spring of 2021, a large spider was then spotted constructing her web in the corner and by July, a small bat pup was found dead among the webbing.

A day later, after the body of the smaller bat was eventually found on the floor, a larger adult bat was also seen entangled in the web, although this one was still alive and struggling to get free before being rescued.

After confirmation from experts examining his photos of both the bats and the creepy-crawly, it turned out the spider was in fact a noble false widow: a very poisonous invasive species of spider, which can grow anywhere between 8.5-11 millimetres in length.

We don’t care how big it is, if it’s so dangerous it can take down a bat, that’s warning enough.

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