WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A photo posted on public group page Tasmanian Spiders and Insects shows a huntsman spider trying to devour a pygmy possum at a lodge in one of Australia’s national park.
- It was deemed an unusual event as huntsman spiders normally prey on small birds, frogs and geckos.
- While some are terrified at the idea of possum-eating spiders, others are amused at the wonders of nature.
Huntsman spiders do not normally prey on pygmy possums.
But Justine Latton, from Tasmania, Australia shared the photo her husband took of a huntsman spider trying to devour a tiny possum at a lodge in the Mount Field National Park. It was posted on a facebook group Tasmanian Spiders and Insects.
Australia Museum arachnology collection manager Graham Milledge said it was a very unlikely event.
“It would be fairly rare,” he told The Guardian. “It’s the first time I’ve seen a pygmy possum as prey.” He said it was more common for huntsman to eat small birds, frogs and geckos.
There are two types of pygmy possums in Tasmania – the little pygmy, which is the smallest of all possums, grows to seven grams in weight and length of only 5-6.5 centimeters. And the eastern pygmy which can grow to between 15 grams and 43 grams in weight (less than a golf ball) and a body length of 7-11 centimeters.
John Woinarski, Conservation Biology professor at Charles Darwin University said it was likely to be an eastern pygmy.
“There are some habitat differences between the two species, and [an] eastern pygmy possum is more likely to occur in alpine and subalpine habitats, such as Mt Field,” Woinarski said.
While some people were terrified at the idea of possum-eating spiders, others were overwhelmed by the wonder of nature.
“OMG what a once in a lifetime photo opportunity … I would be so freaking excited if I were lucky enough to witness this … not scary at all just interesting … Thanks for the share of such an epic photo!!” Emma Powell wrote.
A similar event was captured on film in 2016 by a man from Queensland who recorded a huntsman spider carrying a tiny mouse up the outside of a fridge.
Source: The Guardian