Not so incy wincy: spider kills snake in Outback duel

Farmer Patrick Lees said he was astonished to discover the expired brown snake dangling from a web at his outback home in Weetha
Farmer Patrick Lees said he was astonished to discover the expired brown snake dangling from a web at his outback home in Weethalle, about 400 kilometres (250 miles) west of Sydney

A plucky little spider has once again proved that size doesn't matter by taking on—and beating—a much larger venomous snake, in a very Australian telling of the story of David and Goliath.

The spindly Daddy Long Legs appeared to have come out on top after going head-to-head with a brown snake in rural New South Wales.

Farmer Patrick Lees said he was astonished to discover the expired reptile dangling from a web at his outback home in Weethalle, about 400 kilometres (250 miles) west of Sydney, on Saturday.

"The snake was already dead, I made sure of that before I took the photo," he told AFP, referring to the creature's reputation for its deadly venom and quick bite.

Lees' photo, posted on his Aussie Farmer Facebook page, has proved a huge hit in a country well known for its array of fearsome animals.

Many Australians take Mother Nature in their stride, but visitors to the vast island country marvel at its range of dangerous wildlife, from gargantuan saltwater crocodiles to the deadly Sydney Funnel Web Spider.

Brown snakes are common in eastern Australia, and can be as much as two metres (six feet) long when fully grown, according to the website of the Australian Museum.

Their bite, which delivers a potent mix of neurotoxins and coagulants, can be fatal to humans.

A dead brown snake strung up on a spider's web with a Daddy Long Legs spider by its tail in Weethalle, about 400 kilometres (250
A dead brown snake strung up on a spider's web with a Daddy Long Legs spider by its tail in Weethalle, about 400 kilometres (250 miles) west of Sydney, in an image taken on February 6, 2016 and released by Patrick Lees on February 12

Lees said that after taking his photograph, he left the determined little arachnid to enjoy its moment.

"I can't deny the spider its victory," Lees said.

"I'm not sure if it killed it but it definitely won in the long run."

Wildlife experts said it was possible the snake and the spider had duked it out—to the death—but it was impossible to know for sure.

"The most likely scenario is that the snake got entangled in the spider's web," Graham Milledge of The Australian Museum told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"Usually what happens then is the spider will try to wrap the and then they'll bite it."

The museum's website says after killing prey with venom, Daddy Long Legs spiders squirt digestive juices onto its body, before sucking up and ingesting the resulting fluids.


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© 2016 AFP

Citation: Not so incy wincy: spider kills snake in Outback duel (2016, February 12) retrieved 26 April 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-02-incy-wincy-spider-snake-outback.html
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Feb 12, 2016
Daddy long legs are NOT spiders, but YES they are Arachnids.
This really is quite poor from a science site to make that mistake.

Feb 12, 2016
Pholcus phalangioides, common name Daddy- long legs is indeed a spider.

"This is the only spider species described by the Swiss entomologist Johann Kaspar F�Ľssli who first recorded it for science in 1775. Confusion often arises over its common name, because "daddy long-legs" is also applied to two other distantly related arthropods: firstly another arachnid from order Opiliones otherwise known as the harvestman, and an insect less ambiguously called the crane fly."
https://en.wikipe...ngioides

http://australian...s-spider

Feb 13, 2016
The daddy long leg 'spiders' that live around here don't even bite - don't even have fangs. Nor are they poisonous. Seems a lot of different critters are called by the same name!

BSD
Feb 13, 2016
If it has two body segments and eight jointed legs and no antennae, it's a spider. Opiliones only have one body segment.

Feb 13, 2016
I stand corrected. IT seems there are THREE creatures known as "Daddy-long-legs", but only one is a true spider..
Thank you Vievet and BSD.

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