Meet the cuddly little Hawai'ian caterpillar Hyposmocoma molluscivora, stalking its prey, land snails of the genus Tornatellides. This carnivorous caterpillar uses its silk not only to trap the snail, but also to hold open the operculum so it can stretch into the shell and devour the snail alive.
I for one am convinced that children would be delighted and entranced by a revised, carnivorous version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Eric Carle's lawyers are not encouraging.
"That business with the silk is charmingly spider-like," said Mauricio Santos-Lobos, author of The Spider Glyph in Time, when I told him about this down at the pub. "But it's not the real thing. Don't you have any actual arachnid news?" Old fever-wracked Santos-Lobos has a one-track mind.
"I'll see what I can do." He was buying, after all.
The fact is that the ancestors of H. molluscivora would simply knock on a snail's shell and call out "Candy-gram for Tornatellides!", waiting for it to open its operculum, but the snails soon evolved defenses against this trick.