As many people associate bats with vampires and Halloween, they have been feared for a long time, but actually, these winged mammals play an important role in our ecosystem by controlling insect populations.
It is known that these nocturnal creatures have extremely diverse diets, but sadly there are many myths and misinformation regarding them. Have you ever wondered whether bats can catch and eat spiders? To understand the scenario better, let’s look closer at the relationship between bats and spiders.
Do Bats Eat Spiders?
Some bats do eat spiders as a part of their diet, though it will be less comparatively. Most bats feed on insects, as 70% of all bats are insectivores. However, only a few would eat spiders occasionally for various reasons.
Bats can feed on various things, like insects and bugs, flowers, pollens, and even other bats, birds, and rodents. They prey on almost everything about their size.
Bats require a lot of energy to keep their body temperature up and stay active in all kinds of weather. As a result, they frequently consume as much as half of their body weight in a single meal. So having a wide range of food sources help bats in the game of survival.
What Bat Species Eat Spiders?
Many bat species have adapted to eating insects and other arthropods, such as spiders. For instance, the Mexican free-tailed bat eats a wide range of insects, including beetles, moths, and even spiders.
Another bat species that eat spiders is the long-eared myotis, found across North America and Europe. Though they are known to feed on flying insects like moths and flies primarily, they will also eat spiders whenever they have a chance.
Also Read: Do Bats Eat Mice?
So, we can say that though spiders are not the preferred meal for bats, they are capable of eating them as a part of their varied diet.
How Do Bats Catch and Eat Spiders?
Bats use the ‘echolocation’ technique (using sound waves to detect objects) to locate their prey. They produce sounds using their mouths or nose and respond to the echoes that bounce back. Bats are able to detect small insects and arthropods like spiders with incredible accuracy.
A bat will quickly dive down and seize a spider with its claws when it spots one. Then it may devour the entire spider or only the body after breaking off the legs. Some species of bats are equipped with strong teeth that even the hard exoskeletons of spiders are no match to them.
Bats help control spider numbers and get an additional food source when they eat them; therefore, the relationship between the two species is mutually beneficial. While spiders may not be the healthiest food source, they do provide a means of subsistence for bats in certain regions.
Also Read: Do Bats Eat Ticks?
Also, by eating spiders, bats will get additional health benefits as spiders contain some essential vitamins and minerals not usually found in other common bat foods.
Interesting Fact: Bats can sense an object in front of them even at night because they depend more on their ears than their eyes at such times.
Bats are known for their insatiable appetite as they feed on a diverse range of foods, including insects and other invertebrates. Although insects such as mosquitoes, moths, and beetles are the primary diet choice, bats also consume spiders occasionally as an additional food source.
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