Not surprisingly, the spiders are usually larger than the bats. Once tangled in the web, bats usually die of starvation, dehydration, exhaustion or all of the above.
But the grim story for bats doesn’t stop there…
The Peruvian giant yellow-leg centipede (Scolopendra gigantea) also eats bats. It is one of the largest centipedes in the world (30 centimetres long) and is very aggressive, attacking almost every prey item it encounters.
It feeds off insects and spiders but also punches well above its weight, going after large vertebrates such as frogs, lizards and, of course, bats.
Scientists who first observed this behaviour noted that, unlike most bat predators, this centipede can reach bats as they roost at the very top of caves during the day.
Once their prey is suppressed by the toxin in the centipede’s bite, the centipede coils around, slowly tearing off pieces of bat flesh.