When spiders get together

Roman Willi's Image

Roman Willi (Switzerland) documents a rarely seen moment between two mating spitting spiders.

Roman kept returning to this spot, keen to document spitting spider behaviour and share the wonder of arachnids. They are 'misunderstood,' says Roman, and 'need our help in conservation'. Roman's perseverance was rewarded when he witnessed this rarely observed scene.

Spitting spiders are named after their behaviour of squirting a sticky substance at their prey to immobilise it. To mate, the male loads its two pedipalp appendages with sperm. The female rises and the male inserts these into the genital opening on the female's abdomen. The female can store sperm for several months before laying eggs in a cocoon, which it then carries until the eggs hatch.

Behind the lens

Roman Willi

Roman Willi


Roman is a wildlife photographer and videographer based in Lucerne, Switzerland. He strives to capture unique moments in the lives of wild animals. His focus is macro photography - making something visible that cannot normally be seen with the naked eye - which has always fascinated him. Roman hopes to document behaviours that have never been seen before and that his pictures will ultimately help nature conservation.

Image details

  • Sony α7RM4
  • Laowa 100mm f2.8 lens
  • 1/160 sec at f16  •   ISO 250  •   Godox V350s flash + diffuser  •   x3 focus-stacked images
  • Horw, Lucerne, Switzerland
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.

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Death Pit

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