Warning - Spider Alert!
Have I mentioned how much I love my Euphorbias? Well yes, I know I do keep harping on about them, but it's not just about the early colour! I miss my bugs during the winter months and whilst there are insects about, they are few and far between at the moment. But the Euphorbias are a real hive of buggy activity and I spent an hour or two sitting beside them watching and taking photos one sunny afternoon last week. The main interest for me is the Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis) of which I counted eleven! Most were on the low growing E. myrsinitis, waiting for flies to arrive so they could pounce. What's fascinating about this spider is the diverse range of colours and markings. And it's a pretty spider too. If you've read this far, you may go further and then I'm sure you'll agree. :-)
Some further information about Nursery Web Spiders:
|Here comes a fly, attracted to the nectar on the Euphorbias.|
|After eating, it becomes necessary to have a wash and brush up. But beware....|
|If they are not careful, this is what awaits them!|
|A female Nursery Web Spider with a grey brown appearance.|
|Another female with a pretty reddy brown coloured body.|
|And this one's a male! He reared up in a defensive position when he saw me.|
|This Common Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria) was chancing its luck.|
|It could have ended up like this! |
This spider has yet another variation in colour with very pronounced markings.
|This may be the same one but I came back later with an extension tube on to get in closer.|
|Here is a spider moult - I find it hard to figure out which bit |
went where (apart from the obvious legs!).
|Not a good capture but this cool dude is Dicranocephalus medius, a Spurge Bug. |
Spurge is the common name for Euphorbia and these bugs are found on it
as that's what they feed on.
|And this is not Euphorbia, but couldn't resist adding this Pisaura mirabilis which had |
decided to try its luck hunting on a freshly opened Anemone de Caen.
|Lastly, here is one from last year. This is a female with her egg sac.|
It never fails to amaze me how they manage to get around carrying such a huge thing!
If you are not normally a spider lover but you managed to get to the end here, very well done and have a happy Spider Sunday! :-)
P.S. Very pleased to say the first returning Swallows were sighted here flying over the garden on Friday!