Madagascar Huntsman Spiders and Leaf Traps

Madagascar Huntsman Spiders
A Huntsman Spider in Madagascar

Spiders are incredible creatures. There are more than 45,000 known species of spiders, and each of them has unique features that allow them to prosper in a wide variety of environments. We usually think of spiders making webs to catch insects, but spider silk has other uses. Researchers have seen Madagascar huntsman spiders using silk to make leaf traps.

These huntsman spiders (Damastes sp.) take two leaves about the same size and fasten them together with silk to make a pocket. The pocket creates a cool and dark environment that is attractive to small frogs escaping the Sun’s heat and seeking refuge from predatory birds. What the spider has done is design a trap to catch frogs as a source of food. The spider hides in the back of the pocket and ambushes any frog that ventures in.

Biologists are still researching this case where Madagascar huntsman spiders appear to be intentionally capturing and eating vertebrates. In the natural world, there are many instances where life-forms survive even though their survival seems unlikely.

A spider eating frogs certainly doesn’t fit the evolutionary theory of progression, but it does speak eloquently of a unique design built into a particular ecosystem. It is just one more case where the more we know of the creation, the closer we get to understanding the Creator’s wisdom.

For more information about interesting spider species, click HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

— John N. Clayton © 2021

Reference: Science News, January 30, 2021, page 10.