Soutinho, J.G., Couto, H., Andreone, F., Crottini, A. & Rosa, G.M. (2018) When camouflage fails: predation of a huntsman spider Damastes sp.(Araneae: Sparassidae) on a stick insect Antongilia sp. (Phasmatodea: Bacillidae: Antongiliinae) from Madagascar. Acta Arachnologica, 67(1), 31-33. DOI:10.2476/asjaa.67.31.
Although laboratory trials suggest that stick insects (Phasmatodea) are a highly palatable prey group for spiders, field observations confirming this hypothesis are very rare. We report on a predatory event involving a huntsman spider of the genus Damastes (Araneae: Sparassidae) on a stick insect of the genus Antongilia (Bacillidae: Antongiliinae) from Madagascar. Despite the anti-predator adaptations that characterise this insect group (e.g. the cryptic camouflage) the stick insect was recognized and overwhelmed by the sparassid spider.