This menacing little wolf spider Pardosa amentata, less than a centimetre long, lives in a crevice beside a wall in our garden. Wolf spiders chase down their prey, rather than spinning a web and can show an impressive turn of speed. Earlier in the year they were engaged in their elaborate courtship ritual, where the smaller male faces the female and signals to her with a pair of palps which he used like semaphore flags. If she gets the message they'll mate, if not she may well eat him. It's a very delicate process, performed by the male with great caution, and can go on for hours but, if all goes well ...
... the female produces eggs which are carried around in a silken cocoon attached to the underside of her abdomen.
Then she takes every opportunity to bask in the sun, to speed up the development of the embryos in her eggs. When they hatch, she'll carry all the minute spiderlings around, clinging to her abdomen, until they're large enough to fend for themselves.
Welcome to my natural history blog from the North East of England.
Copyright Notice: Copyright of all photographs on this blog resides with Phil Gates. Students and teachers are welcome to use any of these photographs for non-commercial educational purposes , provided that their source is acknowledged by quoting the URL of this blog. The size and resolution of most pictures should be fine for PPT presentations.