Orb-weaver spiders weave large webs that are capable of entrapping various species of birds. We report a case of a male Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) caught in the web of a giant lichen orb-weaver (Araneus bicentenarius). Most cases of bird entrapment in spider webs involve spiders with larger webs (often Nephila sp.) and very small birds, usually hummingbirds. Our case is noteworthy because we report a relatively large bird caught in a relatively small web. Furthermore, the geographic distribution of A. bicentenarius extends beyond the tropics and subtropics, which is where most reported cases of bird entrapment occur. This observation suggests that even small orb-weaver webs may pose a threat to relatively large birds, and that this risk may extend well beyond the regions most commonly associated with entrapment.
Wilson Ornithological Society
Queller, P.S., & Murphy, T.G. (2019). Painted bunting (Passerina ciris) caught in the web of a giant lichen orb-weaver spider (Araneus bicentenarius). Wilson Journal of Ornithology, 131(1), 191-194. doi: 10.1676/17-12
Wilson Journal of Ornithology