Did you expect brand loyalty from a spider?

No one is surprised, instead all the arachnologists are thinking “Cool!” Scientists in the Amazon captured a video of a mygalomorph spider chowing down on a young mammal. Mygalomorphs (tarantulas, funnel web spiders, trap door spiders) are big arthropods that will kill and eat anything about their size that they can ambush, so they’ll eat other arthropods, small birds, reptiles, and yes, mammals.


  1. bsr0 says

    I thought it was cool, but after my wife saw this, Peru (and possibly the entire Amazon area) is now off our list of places to visit someday.

  2. mikehuben says

    They routinely wander in and out of my house in Tena, Ecuador (Amazonian side.) I wonder if they are eating the house geckoes, the roaches, the frogs, or something else? Or just searching? I haven’t seen any mice, rats, or other small mammals here in 3 years: presumably the loose dogs eat them. But something must be present, because I did catch a bot fly (Cuterebra apicalis) in my house that parasitizes rodents and opossums. (There is one report from Brazil about one on a dog.)

  3. colinday says

    I wasn’t expecting loyalty, but I am surprised they can digest/metabolize this.

  4. Gregory Greenwood says

    From an intellectual and safely abstract position several thousand miles away from the Amazon, I know this is fascinating, but unfortunately a big part of my – apparently still stubbornly primitive – brain just immediately reacts with the biggest helping of oh hell no possible.

  5. Walter Solomon says

    I saw a YouTube video years ago of a T. blondi pouncing on a rat. It was cool and kinda horrifying.

  6. says

    Spider-Brand™, Spider-Brand™
    Licensing things a spider can:
    Spinning webs, trapping flies,
    Doing stuff that a franchise buys.
    Face front!
    You’re in a different fight now
    Keeping your copyright now
    When you’re the Spider-Brand™!

  7. jrkrideau says

    My cat is pretty good at catching mice but we have sighted a rat in the back yard. Anyone know how tarantulas and 4 or 4.5 kg cats get along? A team sounds worthwhile.

  8. Artor says

    Colinday@3: That’s what the venom is for. A possum is easy to eat when it’s been melted to goo. You can suck it through a straw!

  9. geshtin says

    It’s a tiny MOUSE opossum. I hate clickbaity titles like that on the video that claim it’s a possum rather than a MOUSE opossum. They just reinforce fear towards spiders and considering how gentle giants most tarantulas are, that’s not needed. Big tarantulas eating small mammals has been documented for hundreds of years and is not news.

    But I know that the Peruvian Amazon has some pretty large tarantula species. This looks like some species of Pamphobeteus to me. Can anyone confirm or even go from genus to species level?

  10. Roj Blake says

    @geshtin – don’t know what video you saw, but the one at the top of the post clearly uses the word ” Opossum”.

    Shoulda gone to Specsavers. :-)

  11. lochaber says

    Roj Blake @10
    In the pics in that article, the snake looks like it has some pretty severe injuries, so I’m wondering if it was almost dead (or possibly even outright dead) before the spider got to it.

  12. geshtin says

    #13: that’s exactly my problem. It says “opossum” rather than “mouse opossum”. Mouse opossums are small in comparison to opossums. Not even big tarantulas are big enough to eat an opossum. Mouse opossums are very much possible for the bigger species.

  13. birgerjohansson says

    Let’s bring a film camera to Cirith Ungol.
    (And Roj Blake is a cool name. The serises was BTW never shown on Swedish television)
    Next project: up the O2 content from 20% to 30, so we can get some real arthropods, like in olden days.