Net-Casting Spiders (Deinopidae)
I first became aware of Net-Casting Spiders watching a David Attenborough documentary about life in the undergrowth. I was captivated by the idea that an arachnid could create its own fishing-net out of silk.
The ’net’ of a Net-casting Spider truly is magnificent and has a subtle light-blue tinge. Watching them spin this web is also quite mesmerising. She gathers the silk with her legs at a frantic pace and with elegant precision attaches each section in perfect lengths until she has a rectangle formation. The final step of the fishing-net weaving process is a stretch-test. She positions the corners of the net in opposing toes and with one striking move, stretches the net to 4 times its size and then lets it settle back to its resting position ready to strike.
Then, while patiently waiting in ambush, with what seems like laser-focused meditation until unsuspecting prey walks beneath them…they launch their fishing-net with their tippy-toes and surround the animal with her highly elasticised silk. Once snared, a victim is unlikely to escape.
Net-Casting Spider (Deinopidae)