Spider eats bird - again
A SPIDER that sparked an international media frenzy when it was caught on camera eating a bird is at it again.
A fascinated resident has watched as another golden orb weaver tucking into a small bird, believed to be a finch, in his backyard.
Des Paton said he had been watching as the golden orb spider had made its home in his backyard for more than a year.
“This spider has fascinated me for more than a year by its ability to select locations for its web so that it would capture large insects rather than mosquitoes and flies,” he said.
“The web is very strong as I have often walked into the web.
“I was surprised to discover the bird in the web as in the past they have flown through and broken it.”
While Mr Paton watched, his friend, Bradley Jetson, caught this snap of the spider mid-meal.
Mr Jetson said Mr Paton liked the spider, and had kept its presence in their Mackay backyard a secret from his wife in fear she would destroy it.
Mr Paton contacted cairns.com.au after his research about the spider led him to the reports about last year's bird-eating spider on the Atherton Tableland, west of Cairns.
Mr Paton said the next day the bird's carcass had fallen on to the ground and was barely recognisable.
"One opinion given to me is that the spider injects its prey with a chemical which breaks down the tissues to make it easier to consume," he said.
"I think it may also act as a preservative as it usually wraps its captured insects in tight parcel of web for later use."
When last year’s bird-eating spider made headlines after an Atherton resident caught it on camera, expert Joel Shakespeare of NSW's Australian Reptile Park said the sighting was most unusual.
"Normally they prey on large insects, it's unusual to see one eating a bird," he said.
Golden silk orb-weavers are found in in warm regions throughout the world, including throughout northern Australia.
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Hungry: This spider is pictured eating a bird trapped in its web in Des Paton's backyard. Picture: BRADLEY JETSON
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