While weeding at Walton Bridge Reserve recently Save Our Waterways Now (SOWN) member Anne Jones spotted an Orge-faced Netcaster Deinopis subrufa waiting to catch its prey.
“I was about to pull off a weed that was creeping all over a native plant and there was this amazing sight of a spider holding a tiny net,” Anne said.
Spider expert and SOWN member Robert Whyte said the net-casting spider had makes a small rectangular net of silk.
“When they detect a suitable prey item, they expand the net and lunge forward to engulf the prey with it,” he said.
If that’s not cool enough, net-casting spiders have huge eyes with eyesight that is 2,000 times as sensitive as the human eye. These huge spooky eyes are why they are also called orge-faced spiders.
Rob said net-casting spiders use their eyes only at night.
“When daylight approaches, the spiders digest their retinas. Each evening, at dusk they regrow their super-sensitive retinas to be able to see again,” he said.
The Orge-faced Netcaster is about 18 mm in body length not including the legs with males and females the same size.
It is found in Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and New Zealand. Other species of net-casting spiders are found all over the world mostly in tropical and subtropical regions.
For more information about spiders go to www.arachne.org.au.
Orge-faced Netcaster Deinopis subrufa waiting to catch its prey at Walton Bridge Reserve The Gap. PHOTO: Anne Jones
Ogre face of Deinopis subrufa PHOTO: Robert Whyte