Home Topics in Depth Science And Environment Spiders Eat 400-800 Million Tons of Prey Every Year

  • AlreadyInUse (1169 posts)
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    Spiders Eat 400-800 Million Tons of Prey Every Year

    It has long been suspected that spiders are one of the most important groups of predators of insects. Zoologists at the University of Basel and Lund University in Sweden have now shown just how true this is – spiders kill astronomical numbers of insects on a global scale. The scientific journal The Science of Nature has published the results.

    With more than 45,000 species and a population density of up to 1,000 individuals per square meter, spiders are one of the world’s most species-rich and widespread groups of predators. Due to their secretive lifestyle – many spiders are nocturnal or live well camouflaged in vegetation – it was previously difficult to demonstrate their ecological role, but zoologists at the University of Basel and Lund University (Sweden) have now used calculations to conclude that spiders indeed have an enormous ecological impact as natural enemies of insects.

    Spiders kill vast numbers of insects

    The researchers used two calculation methods based on different models, which consistently showed that the global spider population (with a weight of around 25 million tons) wipes out an estimated 400-800 million tons of prey every year. More than 90% of that prey is insects and springtails (Collembola). Furthermore, large tropical spiders occasionally prey on small vertebrates (frogs, lizards, snakes, fish, birds, and bats) or feed on plants. The large range of the global prey kill estimate is due to the fact that rates of prey kill can vary widely within specific ecosystems, and these variations must be taken into account for ecological projections.

    https://www.unibas.ch/en/News-Events/News/Uni-Research/Spiders-Eat-400-800-Million-Tons-of-Prey-Every-Year.html

     

    PADemD, bbgrunt like this

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8 replies
  • NV Wino (2680 posts)
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    1. Do they eat mosquitos?

    I much prefer spiders to mosquitos.

    Resist-sm_zpswfchkz8t  
    • Satan (1491 posts)
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      3. Probably as a snack

      Mosquitoes would be too light for a main meal, for most spiders. But if a mosquito is dumb enough to fly into the web, why should the spider turn down a snack between bigger bug meals?

      Fuck the DLC, Third Way, and Emily's List. They have proven themselves to be a threat to all life on Earth.
    • AlreadyInUse (1169 posts)
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      4. If I recall, and that's not always assured nowadays..

      Fish and frogs eat a great deal of mosquito larvae, and bats consume a large number of the adults. The occasional unfortunate to land in a web might make for an appetizer but not much more.

  • 12-Bar Blues (269 posts)
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    2. Why did the fly fly?

    Because the spider spied her.

  • PADemD (832 posts)
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    5. Book Recommendation

    Heaven’s Breath, A Natural History of the Wind, by Lyall Watson

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/80654.Heaven_s_Breath

    A very interesting read on the subject of the wind.  Spiders, insects, and other creatures travel on the wind.

     

    • Haikugal (4804 posts)
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      6. Thanks for this!

        Be the bird.....       Hey DNC! Up Yours! It's ON!!
      • PADemD (832 posts)
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        7. After reading this book,

        I vowed to keep my mouth shut while walking outside on a windy day.

        • Haikugal (4804 posts)
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          8. Ha!!

            Be the bird.....       Hey DNC! Up Yours! It's ON!!