Sunday, February 26, 2012

The return of the big, bad spider.....

This past week has seen an upturn in temperature and general weather conditions locally that has resulted in first sightings of spiders in my garden.

There are those amongst you that have an innate hatred for these little creatures, I know that. Conversely, I have had requests to include more spider related posts.
I'd like to think that by bringing you these photographs and the accompanying information that you'll warm to them eventually. In reality though, I guess when you take a look at the following images, it's not going to serve as much of an incentive to befriend and arachnid?
    
Pardosa Amentata a Wolf Spider


A 'Wolf Spider' even the name sounds scary right? But look at her, doesn't she look mournful? She wouldn't hurt a fly....O.K. a fly possibly, probably even, a human though? Not a chance! She's only 8mm after all.

These spiders don't even produce a web. They catch their prey instead by hunting them down. That means they are fast runners-look at those two large eyes too, they have the good eyesight needed to hunt.




CLICK ON IMAGE FOR A LARGER VIEW (IF YOU DARE)
Pisaura mirabilis a Nursery-web Spider

The nursery-web spider is similar to the wolf spider in that it also hunts down prey rather than building a web to catch it.
It has much smaller eyes though and seems to rely more on speed and strength, to overpower it's quarry.

When young spiders are born the mother builds a silk tent (a nursery web) and releases the spiderlings into it. This offers some protection until their first moult, following which they leave the tent.

These can be almost double the size of the 'wolfs' at around 15mm.



Pisaura mirabilis

I have also spotted a number of crab spiders and a large orb-weaver this week. However, I feel I'd be pushing my luck by adding photos of those in the same blog entry and so I may hang on to them for now and sneak them into a future posting.

A reasonable weather week is forecast for our area and so I'm hoping the increase in bug activity continues and I'll be able to update this blog again very soon.

Until the next time...


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