21st Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Ogre-faced spider using its net

The photo depicts an Australian net-casting, ogre-faced spider (Asianopis subrufa) hunting with a net. I had filmed this female the night before, documenting the different types of prey she was eating. These spiders use a unique foraging strategy, called net-casting, to capture prey at night. While suspended within a non-sticky frame web, these spiders hold onto a sticky net within their front four legs. When prey is detected, they quickly launch themselves towards the prey item (usually an insect) in lightning-fast speed.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 03.2023
Date Uploaded: 11.2023
Photo Location: Australia
Camera: Canon EOS R6
Copyright: © Jay Stafstrom