Species of the Month May 2019

 

Nursery Web Spider Pisaura mirabilis

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A species of unimproved grassland, road verges and other rough habitat, the Nursery Web Spider (aka Tent Spider) is an easy spot thanks to its habit of sunbathing on bramble, nettle and other plants. Though they vary in colour from brown to grey, the slender abdomen and pale contrasting stripe on the thorax make the species fairly easy to identify. They also hold their legs in a specific way, with the two front pairs together pointing forward. The females can be seen carrying their large egg sacs in their jaws (shown below). Just before hatching she will build a "nursery web" or "tent" where she stands guard until the spiderlings are old enough to disperse.

We have only 244 records of Pisaura mirabilis at SEWBReC, though the species is widespread throughout south Wales. You can view the known Welsh distribution of here on Aderyn. More information is available from Naturespot and the British Arachnological Society.

If you spot Nursery Web Spider during May (or at any other time of year), please send us the record, ideally via our Species of the Month form on SEWBReCORD (nb. you will need to be signed into SEWBReCORD to use this link). Instructions on how to submit records are available here.

 

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