|Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)|
- The Nursery-Web Spider, when trying to win over a Female, will actually find a fly and wrap it up and then give it to her.
- The Female will then either eat the Male... or accept the fly and eat it herself as well as mating with him. A bigger gift means the female will mate for longer ad more eggs will be fertilised
- The Male can sometimes be a little bit sneaky and instead of wrapping a fly, he will present the Female with a leaf wrapped up in silk.
- She will not know this and will mate with him anyway but this might not go well for the Male as when she finds out, she'll probably eat him...
- When her eggs are fertilised the female lays her eggs into a big silk sack which she carries with her.
- When the eggs are about to hatch the Female will build a sort of 'Tent', the nursery, where she will put her egg sac in and then stand guard outside protecting the spiderlings whilst they hatch.
- They are very sparsely spread in the UK but in the populations there are actually quite a lot of them. The largest population is probably around Leicester.
|Close up (sorry to any arachnophobes)|
- The Male is usually 10mm - 13mm long while the Female usually exceeds this at 12mm - 15mm.
- They are normally found low in vegetated areas, especially nettle beds where they eat flies, small insects, and other Nursery-Web Spiders. :-)
- They don't build webs to catch prey, instead they hunt them. They will lie in wait on a leaf or twig and wait for an insect to pass by which they then chase down and overpower.
Here are some links to some more information:
Hope you enjoyed,