This evening we concluded our night filming walk in The Knoll National Park, begun last week, when there were so many interesting subjects (two moths, two spiders, a butterfly and a beetle) that we barely got past the second bend in the path.
The big attraction at The Knoll is Hadronyche formidabilis, which resides in a tree next to the creek close to the furthest point of our walk. This spider has the most potent arachnid venom on the planet. By tickling the trip lines with a twig, Mark causes the spider to leave its web thinking it is about to pounce on prey instead of the end of vegetable matter. This was the fourth occasion I have filmed the spider and this time I set myself up to get frame-filling close ups. The spider gave a bravura performance, leaving its web several times and hanging on to the twig in full view. On one take, its grip was so powerful that when it retreated into its web carrying the twig with it, Mark had to wait quite a while before it let go. For the record, this is post 450.