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Parson Spider

A new member of the menagerie - coming into the kitchen last night and putting the light on scared the daylights out of a small but smart spider that ran at high speed for the nearest cover. That's a new one, I thought, and so I captured it (later released - don't worry). I believe - confidently - that this is the Parson Spider (Herpyllus ecclesiasticus)   - so named because the abdominal “stripe” on [...]

By |2018-02-22T10:49:30+00:00February 22nd, 2018|spiders|0 Comments

Yet Another European Invader – The “Quebec Spider”

This chap should have been instantly identifiable when encountered as it is Araneus diadematis or the Cross Orb-weave Spider. However, one naturally thinks about Quebec native species and not the common or garden European garden Spider, which is what this chap actually is. Thought to have arrived in North America about a century ago and now well-settled. he was "venerated" in the middle ages because of the cross on his upper abdomen which gave [...]

By |2017-09-15T16:52:02+00:00September 15th, 2017|garden, spiders|0 Comments

Very tiny spider

... no more than three or four mm long, sitting on a just unfurling blackcurrant leaf.  I'll put my money down on it being a "jumping spider" (family: Salticidae) but that's as far as I'll go today. There's a PS to this ... I have an old Sony NEX-7 camera that I keep for digiscoping and that has not been used often and certainly not for the best part of two years now.  I do have a [...]

By |2017-04-27T11:13:51+00:00April 27th, 2017|Gardens, spiders|0 Comments

Long legs but not a “long-legs”

Today we have a lovely, large harvestman - specifically (at least so i believe) a Brown Daddy Long-legs (Phalangium opilio) some 3 to 4 inches from foot to foot that was hanging out on the wall of the house catching some rays this afternoon. Not exactly uncommon, it's the widest spread of its family on the planet ... also, despite having four pairs of legs it's not strictly a spider. Even more, we also have [...]

By |2016-08-29T15:55:56+00:00August 29th, 2016|spiders, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Beetle (and Spider) of the Day

It’s getting to be a busy time of the year suddenly. Two wildly different things today - a beetle and a nice spider. The beetle is Lucodota atra, the Black Firefly and not the one we see flashing the garden at night as this species doesn’t flash and, what’s more, it flies in daytime. The larvae live in rotting wood and this chap was quite close to our firewood stack. It will be a harder [...]

By |2016-07-04T15:39:54+00:00July 4th, 2016|insects, spiders|0 Comments

Wolf Spider

Didn't have to go far to find this fellow - last week we brought in dahlia and canna lily bulbs/tubers from the garden.  While preparing the canna lily for winter, J found a large and a hairy spider amongst them.  Rather a fine specimen, getting on for 2 inches across. Impossible to tell its colour though - as you will see from the photos that follow, on a white background it looked brown but on [...]

By |2013-11-09T17:34:29+00:00November 9th, 2013|spiders|0 Comments

Weaving a web

We were fortunate today to come across an orb-web spider weaver her web under perfect lighting conditions and so, not being any sort of a hurry, decided to take the time to make a video recording of the fascinating process. When we arrived, the framework (spokes and guy-lines) were already in place and she was going round and round adding the spiral that will trap her meals.  The whole process took less than 15 minutes [...]

By |2013-09-29T15:01:42+00:00September 29th, 2013|insects, spiders|0 Comments