British spiders, Misumena vatia, Nursery web spider, Paidiscura pallens, Pisaura mirabilis, sputnik-shaped egg sac, White crab spider
I’m not a huge spider fan but, as I’ve been spying a few during recent meanders, I thought I should show them a little love, so …
White crab spiders (Misumena vatia) like this one are usually very good at camouflaging themselves, lurking on white or pale-coloured flowers, but this little one was being bold, and so made for a good subject for a photo.
A spot of leaf-turning revealed several Paidiscura pallens spiders and their weirdly shaped egg sacs. You can read more about these tiny creatures in my previous blog The sputnik spider, July 2017.
One of the meadows where I walk has a lot of long grass, some of which is now woven together by the silken threads of Nursery web spiders (Pisaura mirabilis). These spiders don’t spin webs to catch food; instead, their webs are constructed to keep their spiderlings safe while they grow in to adults.
The adult spiders are a pale brown in colour, with a pattern of darker brown and black stripes running vertically along their bodies.
The Wildlife Trust website has this fascinating information about Nursery web spiders:
‘Mating is a dangerous game for male Nursery web spiders, so they present a gift of food to the female while laying perfectly still and pretending to be dead. When the female investigates the food, the male will suddenly jump up and mate with her.’
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