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Battle of the fangs

An eastern small-eyed snake became trapped in a red-back spider’s web.
An eastern small-eyed snake became trapped in a red-back spider’s web.

IT'S not every day that a snake and a spider go head-to-head in search of their meal - and it's not every day that the little guy comes out on top.

The big guy versus little guy scenario played out just like that with the unlikely and unusual event of an eastern small-eyed snake becoming tangled in the highly venomous red-back spider’s web at Nicole and Warren Lloyd’s Waterview Heights property.

“We live out of town so we get the occasional snake and we have more than enough spiders, but never together,” Mrs Lloyd said.

“We have a big red-back spider issue out here but we have never seen one as big as this.”

The young but venomous snake, estimated to be around 200 millimetres in length, some how made its way into the spider’s territory – leaving the reptile in a vulnerable position.

Although it is unknown how the snake got there, the female spider which is believed to have a body length of 10 millimetres, sank its fangs into the snake, killing it immediately.

Clarence ecologist Dr Greg Clancy said he had never seen a snake caught up in a ‘sticky spot’ like this.

“The snake probably wandered into the spider’s web searching for food and may have been slowed down enough by the strong web to allow the spider to inflict a fatal bite,” he said.

“The dried out condition of the snake is due to the spider’s habit of sucking the juices out of their prey, which is the usual method of feeding for spiders,” he said.


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