Spiders that prey on fish by injecting them with lethal doses of venom are far more widespread than previously known, according to a study.

A research paper published in Plos One this week into fish attacks by spiders found eight out of 109 families of spiders around the world have the ability to catch and kill fish.

The most common type of attacks were by nursery web spiders that can “swim, dive and walk on the water’s surface”, according to the report, which was written by the University of Basels Martin Nyffeler and the University of Western Australias Bradley Pusey. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2014

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