21st Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Wounded huntress

An ogre-faced, net-casting spider sits and waits for her prey. These spiders sit motionless all night long, waiting for insects to approach. When nearby prey items are detected (via vision or hearing), these spiders will launch themselves towards the insect, actively ensnaring it with the net held within its front four legs. On this occasion, the spider itself is prey, as a parasitic mite has attached to its abdomen. The darkened/shiny cephalothorax of the spider is not normally that color, this is blood seeping down from the mites attachment point.

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