Monday, 16 February 2015

Garden Centre Spider (II)

Another visit to the garden centre. I spend much of it looking up most, in search for the Garden Centre Spider, Uloborus plumipes. I must have been a funny sight. My efforts are rewarded quickly. First, and most obvious I spot the webs, stretched across the plumbing by the glasshouse roof. They are laid almost horizontally and is an orb web. This one had a stabilimentum, a decoration in the centre of the web, in this case a linear one.
The spiders were a bit harder to find. After a while I saw some piece of debris hanging from some web, see the spot in the middle of the photo?
Zooming in, it revealed itself a a superbly camouflaged spider. It is hard to think it is a spider from a distance. Once I had spotted one, more followed, and I counted five in a relatively small area. 
The nicer thing, though, was to find its spiky egg sac too.
Sorry for the poor photo quality, but the spiders were 3 m above me and the light already fading.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Sunbathing Nursery web spider

A sunny day, we visit the wildlife garden. We find little in the way of invertebrates, but, as we are about to leave, on the south facing Ivy, I spy this young Nursery Web spider, Pisaura mirabilis, which makes my day. First she is sitting like some wolf spiders or crab spiders, sometimes sunbathe, with their front legs curled up, looking very relaxed. Then she seems to detect my presence, and it stretches out her front legs in the more typical position of the species (above).