Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/54

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

the sides of the ditch. The spider commenced tugging at his prize in order to land it. The observer ran to the nearest house for a wide-mouthed bottle, leaving his friend to watch the struggle. During an interval of six or eight minutes' absence the spider had drawn the fish entirely out of the water; then both creatures had fallen in again, the bank being nearly perpendicular. There followed a great struggle, and on Mr. Spring's return the fish was already hoisted head first more than half its length out upon the land. It was very much exhausted, hardly making any movement, and was being slowly and steadily drawn up by the spider, who had evidently gained the victory. She had not once quit

PSM V37 D054 A fish captured by a dolomede spider.jpg
Fig. 2.—A Fish captured by a Dolomede Spider.

her hold during the period of a quarter to half an hour of observation. Her head was directed toward the fish's tail; she stepped backward up an elevation of forty-five degrees, dragging her captive with her.

The observers were unfortunately unable to await the issue of the matter, and therefore caught the combatants in the bottle, partly filled with water. The fish swam languidly at the bottom of the vessel, and the spider stood sentinel on the surface, turning when the fish turned and watching every motion. The bottle was set aside and visited after an interval of three hours. The spider was then found dead at the bottom of the jar, but the fish was alive and lived twenty-four hours afterward. The spider was three fourths of an inch long and weighed fourteen grains; the fish was three and one fourth inches long and weighed sixty-six grains. The spider was probably bruised by the catching.