Spider catches, eats bat in web outside Texas home

Posted: Updated:
Courtesy Annette Alaniz Guajardo? Courtesy Annette Alaniz Guajardo?

We now know what nightmares are made of: huge spiders eating bats!

Annette Alaniz Guajardo sent WTVD photos of the event that happened at her home in Poteet, Texas -- south of San Antonio -- on Wednesday.

Annette told the ABC affiliate she was on her way to work when she saw a bat trapped in the web of a black and yellow garden spider. By the time she got home, the bat was dead. 

Matt Bertone, an entomologist with the North Carolina State University, told the station that while the Argiope aurantia (scientific name) are harmless to humans, they are known to eat flies, bees, other insects and larger animals.

"They have been known to catch birds and other larger animals in their webs and eat them," he said.

While they usually build their webs in plants, these garden spiders have been known live in backyard gardens.

According to The National Wildlife Federation, the webs contain a "highly visible zigzagging X-shaped pattern." While the function is unknown, some experts think it is used to alert birds to the presence of the web so they don't fly thought it.