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Tri-colored Bat (Perimyotis subflavus) Predation by a Dark Fishing Spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus) in East Texas

Samantha J. Leivers1,*, Elijah H. Lee2, and Nathan W. Fuller3

1Department of Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843. 2Department of Biology, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX 78666. 3Wildlife Diversity Program, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Austin, TX 78744. *Corresponding author.

Southeastern Naturalist,Volume 20, Issue 3 (2021): N98–N101

Bats have few natural predators, with birds and snakes being most commonly reported. However, there are also reports of bat predation by large arthropods, including spiders, although recorded cases outside of the Neotropics, Asia, and Australia/Papua New Guinea are rare. Herein, we report an observation of a potential predation event on a Perimyotis subflavus (Tri-colored Bat) by a Dolomedes tenebrosus (Dark Fishing Spider) at a culvert hibernaculum in East Texas. We believe this to be only the second reported case of predation on a bat by a hunting spider in North America. As Tri-colored Bat numbers are decreasing due to the spread of white-nose syndrome, we discuss the need to consider impacts of spider predation at culvert hibernacula and how climatic events may alter the predator–prey dynamics between these 2 species.

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