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Join date : 1970-01-01

PostSubject: Photo of the Week   Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:35 am

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This Wasp Spider was photographed by Phillip Hicks at Fletton Lakes underpass in Peterborough. With its brightly striped abdomen the Wasp Spider looks as if it would be more at home in a tropical location, but in fact it's well established here in the UK. Despite the warning colours this is not a dangerous species. The wasp-like appearance is probably to deter predators.

Wasp Spiders are native to Mediterranean areas but have quickly adapted to our wetter climate and seem to be extending their range. They can already be found throughout most of southern England but have recently been spotted as far north as Nottingham.

Scientific name: Argiope bruennichi

Size: Female 18mm (head + body), the male is less than 5mm

Distribution: Found mainly in the southern counties of England but slowly spreading northwards.

Months seen: April to October

Habitat: Low growing grassland

Food: Flies, grasshoppers and crickets

Special features: This is one of our more exotic looking spiders. It's a native spider of Mediterranean areas, and has only recently colonised England. Despite the warning colouration this is not a dangerous species. The wasp-like appearance is probably defensive, to deter predators.

The Wasp Spider builds its web close to the ground in order to catch grasshoppers and crickets. The female can often be seen hanging upside-down in the middle of her web throughout summer and autumn. The web features a distinctive zig-zag patterned section running vertically through it.

The large abdomen features yellow, black and white stripes, and the cephalothorax is covered with silver coloured hair. When viewed from underneath you can see two yellow stripes running lengthways along the abdomen.

The female Wasp Spider creates one of the largest egg sacs of any of the spiders found in Britain. It is flask shaped, brown in colour and about 25mm across. She fills it with eggs and then seals the top with more silk.

The male is much smaller, and is only active for a couple of weeks in July. Like many other male spiders, he has to be careful when mating, to ensure he doesn't end up as dinner for the female.
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Join date : 2012-03-06
Posts : 6142

PostSubject: Re: Photo of the Week   Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:25 pm

I love spiddies and I think he is lovely. You are right though love, if you didn;t know you would think he was venemous. There are quite a few little things now living here and establishing themselves from other countries. Personally I wouldn't mind this at all but would worry about children and animals being harmed by those of a less friendly disposition.


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