Predator vs. Prey: Six-Spotted Fishing Spider vs. Gray Treefrog Tadpole

By | June 1, 2014
From Xplor: June/July 2014

The struggle to survive isn't always a fair fight. Here's what separates nature's winners from it's losers.

Fishing for Food

The six-spotted fishing spider is common along ponds and streams, but there’s nothing ordinary about it. Measuring 2.5 inches long, this big spider can hunt on land, water, and deep below.

Turbo Tadpole

The gray treefrog tadpole is a tempting meal, but the tadpole’s strong tail and newly developing legs let it quickly dart out of harm’s way.

Eight Eyes on Alert

With eight eyes, nothing slips past the fishing spider. Slight changes on the water’s surface alert it when a meal is within striking distance.

Water Walker

The fishing spider can walk on water. It can also row, sail, and dive. By trapping air bubbles on its legs, it can breathe underwater for half an hour.

Lying Low

Like many amphibians, tadpoles stay hidden during the day and don’t become active until night, when they are harder for predators to spot.

and the winner is…

Even if the six-spotted fishing spider lets this slippery tadpole slip by, chances are high it will get the next one that swims by.

And More...

This Issue's Staff

Brett Dufur
Les Fortenberry
Karen Hudson
Regina Knauer
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
Tim Smith
David Stonner
Nichole LeClair Terrill
Stephanie Thurber
Cliff White