Friday, 15 October 2010

IOW Orb web spider

This photograph of a ♀ wasp spider (Argiope bruennichi) with her newly made egg sac was taken at a site on the IOW.

The spider was observed for over two weeks in the local vicinity, before it finally set about building its egg sac over a two day period. Then having laid its eggs the ♀ disappeared.
The wasp spider is a recent coloniser in the UK and feeds mainly on grasshoppers which it captures by spinning an orb web between grasses low to the ground. The web contains prominant zig-zag patterns towards the centre - the purpose of which is currently uncertain, although it may function to attract other insects.
Photograph is copyright Chuck Eccleston

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