Net-casting or Retarius spiders

Deinopus subrufa, family Deinopidae

Net-casting spider, Deinopidae, Deinopis subrufa, male The male Net-casting spider has a very thin body. Deinopus subrufa, family Deinopidae - female The female Net-casting spider.

Identification

Very large brown spider that hangs with its legs down and held together in pairs so that it looks like there are only 4 legs; very long brown body.

Coloured brown, often with pair of long fawn stripes down body; legs brown. Males similar to females with first pair of appendages like boxing gloves, also males have very thin body.

Leg span up to 17 cm.

Distribution

Eastern Australia in low bushes in forest and gardens

Web

Hangs in few lines of silk from low bushes or in the corners or houses or especially on wire meshed insect screens. When hunting, holds brilliant blue rectangle of web between front four legs

Bite

Only one recorded bite when spider accidentally pressed against skin; severe short term systemic reaction. This spider's venom has not been studied but this one severe bite suggests it may be of concern

Notes

This family are believed to be related to the Orb-weaving spiders because the rectangular web is considered to be only one rectangle of a full orb.

Main prey: moths. Nocturnal hunter, holds brilliant blue rectangle of web between front four legs and wraps around moths coming close by.

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