The Catch

Robert Irwin's Image

Robert was trudging through dense woodland at night when he saw the huntsman spider, dangling in mid-air, clutching a dead frog. ‘It was fascinating to see it manipulating the frog with its front legs while gripping it with its fangs,’ he said. ‘To see it predating an animal so large was extraordinary.’

Huntsman spiders don’t build webs. Instead they hunt their prey, usually stalking large insects and other spiders, but also occasionally frogs. This one probably fell off a branch while struggling with the frog, and was left hanging dramatically from a silk anchor line. It had set this up as a precaution against such an event.

Behind the lens

Robert Irwin

Robert Irwin


Robert has been passionate about wildlife and conservation for as long as he can remember. He became interested in taking photos when he was about six, and now he takes his camera on all of his travels. His goal is to inspire others to love and respect all wildlife and connect with nature to preserve it for generations to come.

Image details

  • Canon EOS-1D X Mark II
  • 100mm f2.8 lens
  • 1/250 sec at f13  •   ISO 160  •   Speedlight 600EX II RT flash + ST-E3-RT transmitter + diffuser
Copyright in WPY competition photographs remains the property of the respective photographers. You may not copy, share, reproduce or republish the photographs except as expressly permitted by copyright law. For media image usage enquiries, please contact us.

More images from Robert Irwin

View all

Discover more

Sign up to our newsletter

Get email updates about Wildlife Photographer of the Year news, events, science, products and fundraising activities. You must be over the age of 13. Privacy notice.