STARTLING photos have emerged of the moment a deadly redback spider cocoons a mouse five times its size in what is being called a world first.
Shocked Ruben Boddington has told how he came across the amazing spectacle while heading out to cycle across his land in Western Australia.
Experts say the spider cocooned its much larger prey to stop it running away[/caption]
His pictures are believed to be the first time it has been caught on camera.
“I was about to jump on my pushbike when I saw something moving near the pedals,” Ruben told reporters at the ABC.
“I had a close look and saw it was a redback wrapping up this mouse…which was still alive.”
He revealed he had never seen a redback on his property before but believes it might have hitched a ride on a kayak his brother had returned to him from Perth.
Spider expert Robert Whyte said the predators use a neurotoxin to disable their prey before consuming them.
But due to the mouse’s size, the redback would also need to cover it in the sticky web to stop it running off.
“A mouse would need a little bit more than a bite to render it unconscious. It actually needs to be wrapped up so the redback can consume it,” he said.
Mr Whyte said the mouse would have been a generous meal for the redback adding they digest their food outside their stomachs.
The unfortunate mouse was still alive when it was wrapped in the web[/caption]
Deadly redbacks are now found all over the world – including in the UK[/caption]
“They are dissolving the muscles, gut, and brain – anything that is more or less flesh,” he revealed.
The expert revealed although the spiders originate in Australia they can now be found all over the world – including in the UK.
“It has now spread all over the world, in Japan, England, Belgium, the UAE; it’s one of our most successful exports,” he said.
Although a redback bite can cause death, especially in children, it often bites without introducing venom.
“Their bite is incredibly painful but only 25 per cent of people bitten experience pain. It’s often a dry bite,” Mr Whyte said.
Earlier this year we showed the nightmare moment a giant spider was caught on camera tucking into a POSSUM on the wall of a terrified couple’s hotel room.
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The spine-chilling images were captured by a shocked husband and wife as they travelled across the island state of Tasmania, Australia.
And just last month, a huge banana spider managed to capture a bat in its six foot web outside a house in Texas.
A horrifying video showed the dead animal dangling from the mighty web outside a house in Poteet.