A spider with remarkable web fishing skills is the Ogre faced spider – shown here is the Hong Kong species 𝘈𝘴𝘪𝘢𝘯𝘰𝘱𝘪𝘴 𝘻𝘩𝘶𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘩𝘢𝘰𝘺𝘶𝘯𝘪.
I was again lucky to find this spider thanks to a tip-off from a friend, and I rushed to see him just as dusk was falling. The male spider was resting on some railings – they are nocturnal spiders and usually found high in trees. You can tell it is a male from the size of the pedipalps.
Their resting pose usually involves them placing each set of two legs together so that they look like they only have 4 legs.
These legs actually have nerve-based receptors that allow them to detect soundwaves, and two of their eight eyes are particularly large to enable them to effectively hunt in the dark, which gives them a somewhat fearsome appearance, hence the name Ogre faced spider.
Ogre-faced spiders spin a web that stretches between their forelegs. They hang upside down (like this spider is doing in the picture) and then hold the web ready. When they see or ‘hear’ an insect approaching they then scoop the insect into the web they are holding – just like a fisherman casting a net.
Sadly, as it was not nighttime, I did not see him in action but this is another amazing example of the phenomenal diversity we have amongst the Hong Kong arthropods.