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Study: Fish-eating spiders found all over the world




Fishing spider Dolomedes facetus captured fish (genus Xiphophorus) in garden pond near Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Courtesy Martin Nyffeler & Bradley Pusey (2014) Fish Predation by Semi-Aquatic Spiders: A Global Pattern. PLOS ONE.
Fishing spider Dolomedes facetus captured fish (genus Xiphophorus) in garden pond near Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Courtesy Martin Nyffeler & Bradley Pusey (2014) Fish Predation by Semi-Aquatic Spiders: A Global Pattern. PLOS ONE.
Peter Liley
Fishing spider Dolomedes facetus captured fish (genus Xiphophorus) in garden pond near Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Courtesy Martin Nyffeler & Bradley Pusey (2014) Fish Predation by Semi-Aquatic Spiders: A Global Pattern. PLOS ONE.
Spider dragging fish prey. Spider - Neotropical genus Ancylometes sp. (family Ctenidae) (superfamily Lycosoidea) with fish Neotropical genus Cyphocharax (family Curimatidae) (Characiformes)
Edmund Germain
Fishing spider Dolomedes facetus captured fish (genus Xiphophorus) in garden pond near Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Courtesy Martin Nyffeler & Bradley Pusey (2014) Fish Predation by Semi-Aquatic Spiders: A Global Pattern. PLOS ONE.
Pisaurid spider (Nilus sp.) in fish net attacked and captured small killifish (Aphyosemion sp.) in stream near city of Kribi, Cameroon.
Duncan Reid
Fishing spider Dolomedes facetus captured fish (genus Xiphophorus) in garden pond near Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Courtesy Martin Nyffeler & Bradley Pusey (2014) Fish Predation by Semi-Aquatic Spiders: A Global Pattern. PLOS ONE.
Dolomedes sp. scuttled out very quickly from underneath dock attempting to attack live bait fish (probably golden shiner Notemigonus crysoleucas) after a mis-cast resulted in bait fish landing just off edge of dock near Sebago Lake, Maine.
Jeffrey Hollis
Fishing spider Dolomedes facetus captured fish (genus Xiphophorus) in garden pond near Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Courtesy Martin Nyffeler & Bradley Pusey (2014) Fish Predation by Semi-Aquatic Spiders: A Global Pattern. PLOS ONE.
Dolomedes okefinokensis feeding on small fish (probably mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki) in swamp in Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida.
Misti Little
Fishing spider Dolomedes facetus captured fish (genus Xiphophorus) in garden pond near Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Courtesy Martin Nyffeler & Bradley Pusey (2014) Fish Predation by Semi-Aquatic Spiders: A Global Pattern. PLOS ONE.
Dolomedes triton devouring fish (probably mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki) on edge of small, slow-moving stream near Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Patrick Randall
Fishing spider Dolomedes facetus captured fish (genus Xiphophorus) in garden pond near Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Courtesy Martin Nyffeler & Bradley Pusey (2014) Fish Predation by Semi-Aquatic Spiders: A Global Pattern. PLOS ONE.
Dolomedes triton captured Sonora chub (Gila ditaenia) in small stream in Sycamore Canyon, Pajarito Mountains, Arizona (photo by Andreas Kettenburg, Thousand Oaks, California, USA).
Andreas Kettenburg


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A lot of people are afraid of spiders, our creepy, crawly, eight-legged friends. 

One thing you might guess about spiders is that they only feed on insects, but you'd be wrong. Scientists have discovered that many spider species actually feed on fish by pulling them right out of the water. 

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The findings are included in a new report out this week in the journal Plos One, co-authorers by arachnologist Martin Nyffeler at the University of Basel in Switzerland. Nyffeler joins the show with more.