The salticid spider Phidippus regius C.L. Koch, 1846 is documented preying on small frogs (Hyla spp., Osteopilus septentrionalis) and lizards (Anolis carolinensis and Anolis sagrei) in Florida, USA. Female as well as male P. regius were engaged in feeding on this type of vertebrate prey. A total of eight incidents of P. regius devouring vertebrates have been witnessed in seven Florida counties. Furthermore, we report an incident of a large unidentified Phidippus sp. (possibly P. bidentatus F. O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1901) preying on an immature anole lizard in Costa Rica. P. regius, otherwise known to feed almost exclusively on insects and spiders, is one of the world's largest salticid spiders reaching a maximum recorded body length of 2.2 cm. Most other salticid spiders appear to be too small in body size to overcome vertebrate prey. Vertebrate predation by salticid spiders has not been previously documented in the scientific literature. Together with Salticidae, spiders from 27 of 114 families (24%) are currently known to occasionally consume vertebrate prey.
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Vol. 45 • No. 2