Think a spider can’t take on a snake? Think again.
North Vic Engines, which performs engine reconditioning, shared a video of a redback spider battling a snake caught in its web at the company’s location in Cobram, Australia.
“We had a visit today from a baby snake,” the company wrote on Facebook. “Lucky our pet redback found it and killed it for us!”
Some commenters claimed the snake appeared to be have been caught on a hook, but the company said there was no hook, just “a piece of fluff or something” that looked like one. It also posted a video of another snake ensnared in a redback web.
If the video wasn’t staged, then at the very least North Vic Engines might want to call pest control, especially since this has happened before.
“We had exactly this situation happen about this time last year, and yes, the spider won that time too,” Brenton Maher, who filmed the battle, told Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper. “It’s pretty common around here in the country. We have spiders and snakes and it’s pretty normal.”
Redback spiders are an Australian relative of the black widow and have a similar appearance and markings, according to the Australian Museum. They tend to prey on bugs, including crickets and other spiders, and can even ensnare small lizards in their webs. As the video showed, snakes weren’t safe, either.
The spider’s bite is also toxic to humans, with venom that can act “directly on the nerves, resulting in release and subsequent depletion of neurotransmitters.” Although redback spider bites may cause serious illness and even death, no fatalities have been reported since the introduction of an anti-venom, the museum said. The anti-venom is used roughly 250 times per year, usually when someone accidentally sticks a hand into a redback web.