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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Welcome to your nightmares: Meet the spider so tough it eats SNAKES for breakfast

Receptionist found a snake caught in a web next to her desk at work
Spider took two days to weave a web around its prey before eating it

By Chris Murphy

If you suffer from arachnophobia, you might want to steer clear of applying for a job with this South African company.

For the spiders here are so tough they wolf down snakes for breakfast.

An office receptionist was met with this horrifying sight when she arrived for work.

Stuff of nightmares: The snake is off the ground and hanging from the spiders web as its predator moves in for the kill

Tania Robertson arrived at the electrical firm called Bloemfontein to see this next to her desk - a snake caught in a spider's web with its predator moving in for a meal.

Astonishingly the snake was off the ground and tangled in the web. And the spider was making short work of tucking in to possibly its biggest meal ever.

Witnesses say the spider spend two days weaving a web around its kill lifting it higher off the ground and continually snacking on it.

At one point the spider reacted aggressively to a fly that accidentally landed on the web, chasing it away from its kill.

David and Goliath: The 14cm-long spider makes light work of the snake, pulling it into a more manageable 'bite-sized' meal

Making a meal out of it: According to spider experts, this arachnid is a female from the brown button species which is not as deadly as a black widow

Spider expert Leon Lotz from the National Museum said the spider was a female brown button, but amazingly is not quite as deadly as a black widow.

Still, you wouldn't want to be bitten by one if it can do this to a 14cm long Aurora house snake, even if it is harmless.

Leon said he's heard of only one other similar occasion where a snake fell prey to a spider.

The following day Leon took charge of the spider, which is actually quite rare in South Africa.

These pictures, which were taken in 2004, now serve as an educational aid.

The brown button spiders live for about two years, and was fed on a slightly less exotic menu - bugs and moths.



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