Gladiator or net casting spiders are astonishing creatures from eastern Australian forests. They are also known as the ogre-faced spider because they are downright ugly to look at. But they are famous for their unusual hunting technique, which resembles the net casting of Roman gladiators (retiarius).
This video shows one in action. The gladiator spider spins an elaborate net using nearby twigs and vegetation as anchors to get it started. It then holds the net ready, hanging from a thin silk thread as it waits until dinner comes along. It then expertly casts its nest to ensnare its next meal; in this video, its victim is a hapless cricket.
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