Reported in 2004, this email shows a spider eating a snake. Once again there are variants of the email, customised to various locations around the world. The names have also been changed depending on the variant.
The following is an Australian version of the email.
Subject: Come to Australia, where our spiders eat our snakes!
Don’t Mess with a Redback Spider!!
An office receptionist got the shock of her life earlier this week when she found a 70cm long snake entangled in the web of a deadly spider. Tania Robertson, a receptionist at an electrical firm in Perth, came in to work on Tuesday and spotted the sight next to a desk in her office. The snake, which had obviously died from the spider’s poisonous bite, was off the ground and caught up in the web. [/box]
This email is based on factual events that occurred in Bloemfontein, South Africa. The spider was identified by an arachnologist as being a Brown Button Spider (See Page ??). The snake was 14cm in length and identified by a herpetologist as an Aurora House Snake.
The snake was probably caught the day before the photos were taken. Brown Button Spiders spin a web designed to catch prey moving on the ground. Their thick sticky silk would be strong enough to entangle a small snake this size. Brown Button Spider webs are designed in such a way that the more the prey struggles to free itself, the more it gets stuck in the web.
The effects of the spider’s venom on the snake are not well known. The snake could have died from either stress or from the affects of the spider’s venom. The snake’s blood and other body fluids would have been ingested by the spider.
Although this is a rare occurrence, it’s not the only instance where a spider has caught unusual prey. Golden Orb-Web spiders spin huge webs using very strong silk. They have been recorded to catch small birds and bats in their webs.
This email is based upon facts, sewn together with fiction.