Tuesday 7 May 2013

Black Lace Weaver: the female

Not even a week after finding my first male Black Lace Weaver, Amaurobius ferox, I came across the beautiful female by the back door mat of some relatives. The previous day I had seen a very fresh dead, limp male - which now I believe had just had a fatal encounter with the female - and possibly disturbed the female from feeding on its corpse. I checked the palps and left the corpse where I found it. The following day, on the same place where I had found the dead body of the male, I spotted the female, indoors. I took more photos of her, velvety black, fresh, alert. She moved across the room in broad daylight, and fearing for her life, I took her outside to a safer place.
A view of the top of the female, showing how dark it is and the faint markings of her abdomen
Crouching by a chair leg
A 'habitat' shot
Later, I spotted the body of the male, this time wrapped in cribellate silk, its skin empty like a discarded sweet wrapper. Were both wandering in search of mates, what was she doing out in the daylight, far from her hiding hole? 

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