Science Magazine shared an incredible video on YouTube showcasing a tangle web spider’s ability to pick up its prey weighing up to 50 times its own weight.
The “spiders can stretch and use it [web] as an external tool to overcome their muscles’ limits and capture prey with large mass, e.g. 50 times the spider’s mass,” Greco and Pugno wrote on Royal Society Publishing.
A document written by researchers Gabriele Greco and Nicola M. Pugno explained their observation of tangle web spiders in a laboratory. The document explained in scientific detail how the spiders were able to create a pulley system that mechanically lifted their prey.
Greco and Pugno said, “The spiders of Theridiidae’s family display a peculiar behaviour when they hunt extremely large prey. They lift the quarry, making it unable to escape, by attaching pre-tensioned silk threads to it.”
The spiders basically create a web that has sticky silk threads hanging down from it and snare insects who get too close. Once at least one of the spider’s sticky silk threads attach to a victim and it begins to trap them, the movement also alerts the tangle web spider that a meal is here. The spider immediately crawls down into action to attach more sticky silk strings to the victim to entrap it even more.
It’s very fascinating to watch the spider detect the prey and make round trips back and forth to attach more strings until it finally lifts up off the ground. “The lifting prevents prey from escaping their web since it can no longer hold on to the underlying surface,” the researchers said.
In addition to lifting the prey, they also inject it with venom that immobilizes it. After it eventually dies and the spider eats it, they often use the body or empty bug shell as a temporary den.
Go ahead now and watch the video below shared by Science Magazine showing footage of the tangle web spider entrapping its prey.