Monday, June 3, 2013
Nursery web spider
My son and his partner found this very fine nursery web spider Pisaura mirabilis in their house yesterday. These rather fearsome-looking arachnids have the endearing (?) habit of catching flies, wrapping them in silk and presenting them to potential mates. The females carry the eggs around with them underneath their body until they are almost ready to hatch, then spin a nursery web over a clump of vegetation and deposits the cocoon of eggs inside, where the young can hatch and develop in relative safety.
This individual has lost a leg on the right side of its body. Young spiders can generally regenerate lost legs during moulting if the injury occurs early in their life but this is a mature specimen, so it's destined to be a seven-legged spider for the rest of its life.