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The Ogre-Faced Spider

This spider had been on my mind for quite a while as I saw more people posting shots of it. The Net-Casting Spider, or Ogre-Faced Spider (Deinopidae) attained it's name by possessing the very characteristics in the name. Just days before, I was asking another friend where he found it and wanted to visit the spot as well, but changed plans eventually. This night, we found not one, but TWO Net-Casting Spiders. Well, both were identical so you probably can't tell the difference. :P

Net-Casting
The Net-Casting Spider is nocturnal and constructs a net/web suspended by it's four front legs while awaiting for prey. When it detects an approaching prey, it stretches the net and plunges down to capture the prey with the net. Much alike a fisherman?? :)

Ogre-Faced
It's face resembles an ogre. A really ugly ogre!! (not Shrek) It has 2 extremely large anterior (front) eyes that grants it superb night vision to literally net it's prey.

Here's an excellent documentary about the Net-Casting Spider and how it captures it's prey.



And the shots... :)

Net-Casting Spider (Deinopidae) - DSC_6227 #1 It normally looks inconspicuous. The Net-Casting Spider looks like yet another orb weaver with long legs to many who are unaware. This was the second one that we found. Lighter tone than the other one in the following photos.

Net-Casting Spider (Deinopidae) - DSC_6101 #2 Did a lot of kung fu to get this angle, this spider is perpetually facing down all the time! Here, you can catch a glimpse of the ogre face

Net-Casting Spider (Deinopidae) - DSC_6110 #3 Trying to go closer to see the 2 large eyes!

Net-Casting Spider (Deinopidae) - DSC_6123 #4 Lowered itself as it sensed our presence

Net-Casting Spider (Deinopidae) - DSC_6117 #5 Lookie there! The huge fella tries to run onto the main path

Net-Casting Spider (Deinopidae) - DSC_6127 #6 Stopped occasionally and I had a chance to lay my camera on the ground to take this and the following shots

Net-Casting Spider (Deinopidae) - DSC_6135 #7 The pedipalps of the net-casting spider are extremely long and curved. The most unique part is... they end with a large black swell. At certain angles, it looked like it had eyes there! From this angle, it looks otherwise.

Net-Casting Spider (Deinopidae) - DSC_6139 #8 Favorite shot, shows the curvy pedipalps and huge eyes

Net-Casting Spider (Deinopidae) - DSC_6156 #9 View from behind, you can only see 1 pair of eyes from behind

Net-Casting Spider (Deinopidae) - DSC_6166 #10 Viewing from an angle

Net-Casting Spider (Deinopidae) - DSC_6209 #11 Can't get enough of the ogre face, had to get another head shot!

The second net-casting spider that we spotted was less active. I even used some leaves to mark the spot to return a few hours later, hoping to see the net and some possible action. It didn't happen. :(

Just a few other subjects for the night. Most of the time was spent with the net-casting spider, a big tick in my wish list. lol

Longhorn Beetle (Cerambycidae) - DSC_6233 #12 Longhorned Beetle - this is my avatar! One of the most handsome longhorned beetles. Flash positioned too far to the front by accident, but the effect wasn't too bad. :P

Longhorn Beetle (Cerambycidae) - DSC_6244 #13 Used a torch to light up the background for this. There were also several mites behind the neck of this longhorned beetle. :(

Crab Spider (Thomisidae) - DSC_6249 #14 Grumpy crab spider, just a record shot

Mantis (Mantodea) - DSC_6087 #15 Praying Mantis having a quiet night

Well, hope I can find the net in action next time, but am happy for now.

The complete album can be viewed here.

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