Shocking photos show massive wolf spider killing lizard twice its size

A Brisbane dad was so shocked to see a massive spider dangling a gecko double its size in its fangs he covered his children's eyes to shield them from the horror.

Dan Ryan was ushering his three children to the car last Saturday when he spotted the "enormous" wolf spider with the small lizard in its fangs, resting on his fence.

The town planner first thought the horrifying sight was a stick and leaf but then realised the arachnid had pierced the reptile's neck with its fangs and was injecting it with venom, slowly killing it.

A Brisbane dad was shocked to see a massive spider dangling a gecko, double its size, in its fangs. Source: Caters
A Brisbane dad was shocked to see a massive spider dangling a gecko, double its size, in its fangs. Source: Caters

Mr Ryan, 35, said despite being much bigger, the defeated gecko had no choice but to hang lifelessly from its eight-legged captor's fangs as the spider patiently waited for its dinner to die.

He said his wife told him to take a picture because it was "the most bizarre thing" the pair had ever seen near their suburban home.

Wolf spiders usually feast on insect prey such as crickets, ants and other spiders and are rarely seen hunting prey so large.

"I couldn't believe my eyes. It was incredible - but also really creepy," Mr Ryan said.

"I quickly ran back to the kids and shielded their eyes and told them to get in the car.

"I didn't want them to see it as they're all under six and just too young. It would scare them. Not only the spider but the fact that there was a dead gecko hanging from its fangs. It was just so weird.

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He said he had to get up close to the predator to take the photos and feared it might jump on him.

"I've never seen a gecko being killed by a spider like that, and it's quite shocking because the gecko was longer in length. But obviously this spider went after bigger prey and won.

"I guess the spider eventually dragged the gecko away to eat it. I never saw it again."

With no web, it is believed the spider was hiding in the fence and pounced on the gecko when it came past. Source: Caters
With no web, it is believed the spider was hiding in the fence and pounced on the gecko when it came past. Source: Caters

According to the Australasian Arachnology Society, wolf spiders can be found all around Australia and should be considered dangerous because their bite is poisonous - although not lethal to humans.

Wolf spiders are solo opportunistic hunters that pounce on their prey as they find it and will even chase it over short distances.

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Sometimes the arachnids will even wait for passing prey in or near the mouth of a burrow, which Mr Ryan believed is what might have happened in this case.

"The fence paling is dislodged, so I think the spider was hiding in there and when the gecko came past he grabbed it.

"It didn't have a web. It looked like it has been lurking and hiding," he said.

He added that he didn't want to interfere with nature: "We just let nature take its course".

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