Vertebrate predation by invertebrates has been classically underexplored and thus underestimated, despite the fact that many arthropods consume vertebrates. To shed some light on the relevance that spider predation may have upon lizards in the Neotropical and Andean regions, we compiled the available information in the literature on this trophic interaction. We found 50 reports of spiders consuming lizards in these regions, and the 88% of these were from the Neotropical region. Spiders belong to eight families, but Ctenidae and Theraphosidae were the most frequently reported predators. Lizards belong to 12 families, and the most commonly consumed species corresponded to the families Dactyloidae (all Anolis lizards), Gymnophthalmidae, and Sphaerodactylidae. Data suggest trophic spider–lizard associations between Ctenidae and Dactyloidae, followed by Theraphosidae and Liolaemidae. The body sizes of the spiders and lizards showed a positive relationship, and spiders were smaller than their prey. We conclude that various spider taxa can be considered lizard predators and they may be ecologically important in the Neotropical and Andean regions. However, spiders of prime predation relevance seem to be those of the Ctenidae and Theraphosidae families.
This item's license is: Attribution 4.0 International