An annual spider fight has been held in Kagoshima Prefecture, southern Japan.

The event dates back to the late 16th century when a local warlord wanted to boost his soldiers' morale before sending them into battle.

More than 100 people, including children, brought spiders for the contest in Aira City. The insects measure more than 10cm across when they extend their legs.

A pair of female spiders fought on a 60cm stick.

The winner is decided when one of the pair pushes the other off the stick, bites the opponent's back, or covers it with threads.

The owners of the spiders stopped feeding the insects three days before the event to boost their fighting spirit.