You might have heard about carnivorous plants. Since the soil where these plants live is low in nutrients, they have developed the ability to eat insects. One such plant is the Pitcher plant. You can find this amazing plant on the islands between Australia and Asia. It looks like a pitcher and is filled with a sticky liquid. Insects are attracted to the smell and taste of the plant and go in for a taste. The inside walls of the pitcher plant are slick and insects fall inside, cannot escape, and are slowly dissolved by the acidic fluid and eaten by the Pitcher plant. Unfortunately for the Pitcher plant, there is a spider that has learned to avoid the trap and steal the food.
Yellow Crab Spider is the Name and Rappelling is the Game
If you ever want to meet a specialized arachnid thief, then the Yellow crab spider will gladly show you a thing or two about being tricky. The Yellow crab spider is small and will always run from a fight. It has discovered how to get food without putting in the tricky effort of building webs or ambushing prey. Why risk hunting when you can steal food from the pitcher plant? Instead of building a web, the Yellow crab spider uses its silk as a rappelling rope and climbs down into depths of the Pitcher plant. Once inside the pitcher, the spider has its selection of other insects to eat. Since they are exhausted or dead, the Yellow crab spider doesn’t have to worry about fighting for food.
The Yellow crab spider does need to be cautious, if it lets go of its web rope and falls into the pitcher plant it will be stuck and digested, like all of the other insects. Cautiously, the Yellow crab spider grabs a fallen insect and pulls it from the Pitcher plant. Even if the insects are deep inside, the spider can go swimming. Once it grabs a drowned insect it pulls it up to safe point. The spider digs its fangs into the insect, sucks out the juices and drops the drained body back into the Pitcher plant. The spider steals nutrients from the plant and then uses it as a garbage disposal for its left overs.