Noble False Widow Spider captures bats in the attic

by National University of Ireland Galway

Scientists from the Ryan Institute in NUI Galway have published the first record of a Noble False Widow spider feeding on a protected species of Pipistrelle bats in the UK. 

The new study, published in the international journal Ecosphere, demonstrates that False Widow spiders continue to impact native species. 

It is the first time a member of this family of spiders, called Theridiidae, has been recorded preying on a bat anywhere in the world, or any vertebrate in Britain. 

It is also the first time for any species of false widow spider to be recorded preying on mammals.

The extraordinary discovery was made by wildlife artist Ben Waddams at his home in north Shropshire, England. On two consecutive days, bats living in the attic were found entangled on the spider’s web below the entrance to the roost. 

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