A man staying at a lodge in Tasmania, Australia, witnessed a horrifying scene: a large huntsman spider eating what appears to be a pygmy possum. The large arachnid clung to the side of the door, clutching its prey and creeping out its unsuspecting audience.
Justine Latton's husband, Adam, was staying in the lodge when they spotted the unsettling scene, The Sun reports. She shared pictures her husband took of the spider to Facebook, captioning the grisly images with, “Possum-eating spider! Taken by my husband at a Mt Field lodge.” After appearing on the social media site, the pictures quickly went viral and garnered thousands of shares.
Justine Latton told Fox News, "Pygmy possums are quite common up there (Mount Field), we reckon the spider probably just saw an opportunity and went for it! It was one of the biggest huntsman spiders he'd ever seen. And Tasmanian Pygmy Possums are the smallest of the pygmy possums, I believe. This one was about the size of a large walnut. This occurrence is very unusual, I'm told. Huntsman spiders will sometimes take a small lizard or frog, but mammals are not their usual diet. They had to catch the pair and release them outside, in order to open the door! But no spiders were harmed in the relocation effort (too late for the possum)."
Graham Milledge, the manager of the Australia Museum arachnology collection, spoke with The Guardian and described the scene playing out in the pictures as “rare.” He said, “It’s the first time I’ve seen a pygmy possum as prey.” According to him, huntsman spiders usually eat small birds, frogs and geckos.