When I saw this scene playing out on a suburban fence, I knew I had to try to capture the moment that was happening before me. Here, a white tailed spider, is sneaking up as close as it can to the small grey house spider just near the top of the photo (it’s in the gap between the fence).
This is an incredible scene to witness for many reasons: For one, watching white tails at work is amazing. While they have a bad reputation for their bite among people – one that may be rather undeserved at that – they are genuine terrors if you’re one of these house spiders, because they are what white tails eat. The white tail is essentially an eight legged home invading assassin, with multiple hunting methods to draw out the normally highly aggressive house spiders. This one is using the time fashioned “Sneak up and rush” strategy, which led to me watching for several agonizing minutes as the white tail crept forward immensely slowly.
Then at the last few seconds, which sadly my phone couldn’t capture as it was a total blur, the white tail rushed its potential meal! Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on whose side of this you are currently on, the smaller spider got out of there via a little second exit in the web. So the white tail was unable to get a hold of them and the grey house spider made a bold run across another ones web to escape! Seemingly non-plussed by the failed attempt, it then disappeared off to another nearby web and made an attempt at the other owner. Something that I sadly couldn’t watch much of because it was well behind the fence at this point.
Was still fantastic to watch a genuine assassin at work.