Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Venus Pool - Arachnophilia

Arachnophobes look away! This posting comes with a phobia warning - despite the fact that most of these little arachnids are no more than 4cm or so in size, they look pretty menacing through a macro lens!

Complete with their little nursery webs and looking every inch candidates for on of those early Hollywood 'B movies'.








Something much more exciting was to grab my attention though, a species I've found and photographed previously in Sussex - Wasp Spiders (Argiope bruennnichi). I never throught I'd see the day when they would turn up at Venus Pool but they have!

Plenty of information is available on the web. One striking feature is the distinctive web they weave (although it is not unique in the spider world) The zigzag shape above and below the central part of the web is called a stabilimentum, possibly a lure to attract insects??






A bit closer......






The spider really does look like a wasp with striking yellow and black markings on the abdomen.....






One of their main prey species if the Grasshopper and this poor unfortunate specimen was awaiting consumption - wrapped in it's silken cocoon....






A close up of the biggest female found.....






Don't look at these too closely just before you go to bed......

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