Friday, 3 July 2015

Day 242 - Nuturingly Spectacular Nursery-Web Spider

Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)
Hey everyone today's Day 242 and a while ago, I went on a Tansy Beetle walk where, well, I looked for Tansy Beetles. As I was in a lovely meadow area I saw more than just the beetles as when you look for something others species just jump out at you. Happily though, this little thing did not literally jump out me as it was the lovely, all be it just a little bit scary, Nursery-Web Spider. Dr Geoff Oxford, the person who led the walk and told us all about the Tansy Beetle also told me about the first few facts about this spider:

  • 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,


1 comment:

  1. Beautiful shots Zach, absolutely love this post! - Tasha