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How Do Spiders Catch Their Prey?

  • Monday 12th May 2014
  • Spiders, Animals

Redback Spider

Hello animal lovers!

When visiting the zoo, I think the most exciting thing to see is an animal being fed. So I have created a sneaky keeper preview of the action that you can see when visiting us at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo.

There are hundreds of species of spiders in Australia and they all have different ways of catching and eating their prey. Thankfully 'prey' does not include people so rest up and read on friends.

A Kiss that can Kill

One of the most venomous spiders in the world is the Sydney Funnel-Web Spider. This black beauty has huge fangs, a killer attitude and a terrifying display stance when it feels threatened.

Our keepers are SUPER careful when working with this animal, one tiny bite from a Sydney Funnel-Web Spider will have our keepers in an ambulance off to hospital for treatment. Here we have our keeper Julie tong-feeding a big female Sydney Funnel-Web Spider. She gets a cricket for lunch- YUM! Anyone hungry?

Spinning a Death-Trap

The classic is a spider that makes a web - and we have some HUGE Orb Weaving spiders on display in our bug garden and spider tunnel. When it's meal time, our keepers tong feed crickets into the spider's webs. Once the cricket starts making vibrations (by moving around on the web) the spider will come running to catch it, wrap it up and eat it.

Experts of Camouflage

The Wolf Spider and Huntsman Spider don't make webs to catch their food. Instead, these awesome hunters use the element of surprise by hiding under leaves, bark and sticks and chase down their prey when it passes by.

Tips for the Home

With the colder weather rolling in I would like to remind readers to be spider conscience. Spiders want to stay warm too, so you may find them inside the house more often.

Checking inside shoes and gloves before putting them on is a fantastic way to avoid being bitten. Spiders generally only bite when they are surprised or when they feel threatened, so if you can see a huntsman on the wall, don't freak out too much. You could leave it there to eat up all the bugs invading your house (including mosquitos), or grab a container and catch it and release it outside. That's a much nicer way they reaching for the insect repellent can.

Some people think spiders are cool, some think that they are beautiful and lots of people think that spiders are terrifying. Whatever your thoughts and feelings about spiders are, there is no denying that we could not do without them. If we didn't have spiders, the world would be overrun by bugs. And that's a lot more horrifying!

Stay tuned for more animals in the coming weeks!

Keeper Kylie :)