Sunday 11 May 2014

Colourful nursery web spiders

The population of Nursery Web Spiders is thriving in the meadow of my local wildlife garden. I counted no less than 11 today, sunbathing in the long sunny spells between showers. They are striking, easy to spot spiders, that like to stretch to sunbathe like wolf spiders, but keeping their front pair of legs stretched forward together. Many were visible close to each other in various leaves of the lush vegetation, which made apparent how variable in colour they are, from ashy grey to brown and orangey or reddish. They all have longitudinal stripes, with the darker stripes on the cephalothorax. They will probably be mature or mature soon, so males would be capturing flies, wrapping them in silk and offering them to females, while they play dead in order to survive the encounter and make copulation more likely.
More information
British Arachnological Society page.

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