Wednesday 11 April 2012

The sunny side of the fence

The outside of our garden fence is east facing. Many insects and spiders like to bask on it: even normally ground loving invertebrates climb up on it to get the sun a bit earlier. In the last few days I have been watching (mainly) spiders on the fence early in the morning. The male Nursery Web spider (Pisaura mirabilis) on the top shot, warms up on the side of the fence, in almost the same spot every day.
After warming up yesterday he went down to the weeds at the base of the fence to hunt, and caught a greenbottle fly
A crane fly resting, legs outstretched on the fence.
A male Xysticus cristatus, much darker in tone than the female. This is a ground dwelling crab spider and he was basking about 10 cm from the ground, but it is much easier to spot on the fence.
And an eager male Wolf Spider displaying to the female. Alternatively lifting each palp, trembling and getting closer to her very slowly on tiptoes. She kept tapping the ground with their front legs, and didn't miss a movement. When he got very close, almost touching her, she retreated cautiously, tapping regularly.

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