Two genera belong to this family, Deinopsis with seven species and Avella (=Menneus) with six species.
It are large slow moving stick-like spiders. The body is slender and coloured brown to greyish. They do not make permanent webs.
The net-casting spider is well equipped with two large eyes (and 6 smaller eyes) to see and catch prey, even in the dark. Picture by Jurgen Otto
Rectangular capture net op Deinopsis
The net-casting spider is a common spider and is also often seen in documentaries because of its unique way of catching prey. The spider positions itself, head down, and grasps the rectangular capture net with its four front legs. If a walking insect is detected, the net is pushed over the victim that gets ensnared. Flying insects, like moths, are caught by flicking the web backwards.
|Female Deinopsis subrufa by Noel Witcombe NSW||Detail of the catching web of the female Deinopsis subrufa by Noel Witcombe NSW|
Female Deinopsis subrufa by Robert Bucinskas, Wollongong, Australia
|Juvenile Deinopsis subrufa byRobert Whyte, QLD|
|Male Deinopsis subrufa by Eric Verstegen, Sydney||Male Deinopsis subrufa by Robert Whyte, QLD|
|Deinopsis species from Sydney by Jurgen Otto|
|Deinopsis ZZ414 male (note the palps) by Fahran Bokhari, Perth||Deinopsis ZZ414 by Fahran Bokhari, Perth|
|Do NOT look into my eyes!||Picture by Robert Whyte|
Genus Avella (was Menneus)
|These spiders are less commom and less known than the Deinopsis genus. Avella resemble the Deinopsis genus in behaviour and habits, but they are smaller. Their front eyes are not so big as Deinopsis.|
|Avella angulata female||Avella angulata female|
|Avella angulata male by Robert Whyte||Avella despiciens female by Robert Whyte|
|Avella despiciens female by Robert Whyte|
|Avella ZZ626 by Greg Russell-Jones||Avella despiciens female by Robert Whyte|
For more information:
Ed Nieuwenhuys, 1 March 2012
26 march 2011, Januari 4, 2009, 3 december 2006, 29 november 2006, November 3, 2005