Subject: (Warning: Graphic Photos) Neobarrettia spinosa eating a gecko
Location: Canyon Lake, TX
June 22, 2012 1:12 am
I have to warn you. These pictures are gruesome.
Earlier this evening, there was a Red Eyed Devil sitting on the blade of our patio fan. Not wanting it to drop down on us and attack, we turned the fan on, hoping that would dislodge it. After turning it on high speed for about a minute, the thing finally lost its grip and hit a window at probably over 100 mph. The thing acted disoriented for a minute or so, then crawled onto our sliding door.
I saw one of these a couple of weeks ago ferociously eating moths on a window, which was fairly terrifying, considering how fast and powerful the insect was. This one was not interested in moths, though. It disappeared into the frame of our sliding door and came back with the back half of a very large cricket, which it then finished devouring. I came back to check on it later, and that’s when I took these photos. I didn’t see the attack, but I think the gecko was alive, since its foot appeared to be trying to grip the edge of the screen door. It looks like the katydid gave up on trying to eat the head, now, and has moved on to the gecko’s belly.
For scale, the katydid’s body is about 2 inches.
I think I’m going to have nightmares about this.
We generally don’t think of insects and arachnids being able to eat vertebrates, so the photos are always a bit shocking. Though gruesome, your photos are a welcome addition to our Food Chain tag. Folks should be warned to handle Red Eyed Devils with caution as they are capable of biting humans and drawing blood, however, they do not attack without provocation. Some other chilling arthropod eating vertebrates images on our website include this Giant Crab Spider eating a Gecko, Golden Orbweaver eating a Hummingbird, a Preying Mantis feeding on a Hummingbird, a Preying Mantis eating a Mouse, a Preying Mantis eating a Tree Frog, an Australian Redback Spider eating a Lizard, a House Spider eating a Skink, a Fishing Spider eating a Lizard, a Fishing Spider eating a Tree Frog and this House Centipede eating a Mouse. Thanks again for adding to our unusual documentation of insects and spiders eating vertebrates.