Cannibalism in animals

A female silk spider eating its mate

In zoology, cannibalism is where an animal eats its own species. It has been recorded for more than 1500 species.[1] It is quite common with insects, spiders and scorpions. There, the male gets eaten by the female, after having sexual intercourse. Many types of frogs will also eat other frogs of the same species.


  1. G. A. Polis, The evolution and dynamics of intraspecific predation. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 12, 225-251 (1981).

Further readingEdit

  • Elgar, Mark A. (1992). Cannibalism: Ecology and Evolution Among Diverse Taxa. Oxford University Press on Demand. ISBN 978-0-19-854650-4.