MADAGASCAR – A story from Science News is reporting that possibly, maybe, there might be some spiders in Madagascar who build fake shelters to lure frogs to their demise. If it’s true, then that’s some real commitment to dinner theater.
At the moment it’s only a theory that some scientists are fighting about. Several of these horrifying spiders have been seen making highly specific structures that they conceal themselves in. They look like small leafy pockets. You might even call them a hot pocket for spiders. The spider then finds two leaves—the kind of leaves you might want to take shelter in if you’re a frog living in Madagascar. Then the spider sews them together with spidey silk. From here, it is hypothesized that the spiders crawl into their death trap and wait for frogs to enter.
WTF. You need to check your house. Get your family outside. Now.
While the attacks themselves have never been caught on film, there is plenty of evidence to suggest the spiders are doing this intentionally to hunt frogs. Biologist Theo Rosin Fulgence (incredible name) was leading an ecological survey in Madagascar when ecologist Dominic Martin saw the hunstman spider (Damastes sp.) eating a small Madagascar reed frog (Heterixalus andrakata) near one of the traps. Later, Fulgence and his team found three more huntsmen spiders hiding inside these death cocoons. Frogs in Madagascar are known to hide from birds of prey under cool leaves, but perhaps they’re simply escaping the mouths of birds to enter the bellies of spiders—a beautiful, perverted dream.
Imagine the perspective of the frog? You spend all day trying to not get your ass eaten up and stumble upon a place to seemingly take a break. Then, just as you’re getting ready to chillax, a spider takes a big ol’ chomp out of your butt. Sucks, bro.
There is some dispute, though. Behavioral biologist Stano Pekár at Masaryk University has hypothesized that perhaps the spiders simply use these Saw contraptions as a place to hide before pouncing on their prey.
Conservation biologist Jose Valdez at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research in Leipzig finds it improbable that the spiders would create such an elaborate trap, when they could probably find easier ways to hide.
First of all—settle down everyone! The conservationist community doesn’t need this kind of in-fighting! You’re going to destroy each other and the world will pay the price!
Second, we might not know what’s going on in those sexy little spider minds, but it’s clear they’re dedicated to eating frogs. Who cares how they do it? It’s none of our business.
It will be interesting to see if more data surfaces to support these claims, because we all want to see this happen. It’s a real bummer for the frogs, but hey, a spider’s got to eat. It’s a real bird-eat-frog or spider-eat-frog kinda world.