Invertebrate Eating Vertebrate

Photo Credit: Scott Pittenger

The very concept of an insect or arachnid eating a higher life form makes me cringe.  There are examples in the animal kingdom —several large spiders of the genus Theraphosa (bird-eating spiders) ambush and consume small rodents, birds, lizards, frogs and snakes, and giant centipedes of the genus Scolopendra will consume about any living thing they can grasp on to.  Here’s an image taken in a palmetto habitat in Florida by my friend Scott. It’s a jumping spider, Genus Phidippus, consuming a juvenile tree frog.  The spider injects a paralyzing venom that digests both insect and in this case amphibian tissue. Frog legs for a spider.

6 Responses to “Invertebrate Eating Vertebrate”

  1. Male phidippus regius I believe 🙂 Beautiful spiders!

  2. Hello,
    My name is Dr. Martin Nyffeler and I am an arachnologist affiliated with the University of Basel, Switzerland. I am very interested in this photo from a scientific point of view. Where in Florida has this photo been taken? I have some more questions and wish to get in touch with you and/or Scott Pittenger. Would you please send a mail to . Thanks! Regards, Martin

  3. Hello, ¨
    Where in Florida did Scott Pittenger spot this incident of a frog-eating spider? I need this information for a scientific paper. Please reply!

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