Do Spiders Really Keep Frogs As Pets?
It’s easy to think that spiders are bad pets because they eat frogs. But a new study suggests that spiders and frogs may have a mutualistic relationship.
The researchers studied a group of six species of frogs and spiders, including the Columbian Lesserblack frog, the Goliath Bird Eating Tarantula, and a dotted humming frog. They found that the frogs were not affected by the presence of the tarantulas. The frogs were able to stay in the burrows without being attacked.
The frogs also had an opportunity to eat ants that were attracted to the spiders’ leftovers. This could benefit the frogs because ants are a major predator of spider eggs.
The researchers suggest that this mutualistic relationship can be beneficial to both the frog and the spider. The frog may be able to protect the spider from snakes and other large predators while reducing the risks to the spider from mantids. It may also benefit the spider by attracting small invertebrates to its prey.
The dotted humming frog has a good relationship with the tarantula. In fact, it is a common sight to see the frogs emerging from the spider burrows. But the spiders don’t try to catch the frogs, because they find them unpalatable.
The Microhylid Chiasmocleis ventrimaculata is a frog that is adapted to tolerate the presence of spider burrows. It’s a small frog that is less than an inch in length. It is a member of the Theraphosidae genus Pamphobeteus.