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I was trailing through a local bird sanctuary yesterday (central Kentucky, USA) and came across this spider.. it's definitely dead, but what is hanging from the back part of its abdomen? Has some parasite taken home within it, and that is its "nest"?

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  • $\begingroup$ Upon further analysis of the images, it almost appears as if the spider was bleeding, or leaking bodily fluids, of which, given a potentially higher than not viscosity, has allowed the fluid to become rigid after prolonged interaction with the immediate environment. From there, debris may have been captured on the surface of the leakage, accounting for the change in coloration. Any thoughts? $\endgroup$ – user22020 Aug 7 '17 at 15:11
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It is hard to say for certain, but the insect hanging from the spider looks like it may be a member of the family Elateridae, commonly known as a "click beetle". As far as I know, they're harmless and no threat to a spider.

The close binding of the legs with silk suggest that the click beetle(if that is indeed what the insect is) may have been a meal prior to the spider's death, or packaged for later consumption.

Given the amount of debris in the webbing surrounding the spider's corpse, including some pieces of some sort of grass leaves, it seems likely that the webbing become tangled during or after the spider's death. The placement of the click beetle is likely coincidental, although I suppose it is possible, given the positioning, the size of the click beetle, and what we can conjecture would be the size of the wound if that black material is seepage from a wound on the spider's abdomen, that some force actually punctured the spider's abdomen with the body of the click beetle.

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