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Monday, September 30, 2013

Spiders' webs everywhere!

This September the weather has been largely dull,  indeed, according to our solar meter it was as dull as March, and last week we had the first of the autumn fogs descend over the village. Then on Monday we awoke to garden scenes which looked as if the spiders were taking over! 

Huge webs had appeared strung between anything available that provided an  upright anchor and the intricate webs glistened with moisture from the increased humidity in the air. You could hardly walk down a footpath without walking into a web strung across it.

These structures are really amazing and are really only so easily visible because of the moisture in the air. In fact the poor spider is probably not happy that its web is so visible as it makes it more vulnerable to becoming prey of other creatures. 

Most of these webs will have been spun by garden spiders and the spider will wait in the centre until an insect alights on the web before dashing across and seizing it for a tasty meal.
Garden spider web

Garden spider web

Garden spider waiting patiently for prey

Money spider webs


The Garden spider was not the only one making incredible webs however. There were also a number of horizontal webs like these which were probably made by a variety of money spider. They appear to be of a random design but are they have cleverly made a "sheet" web into which prey may fall.

Whilst I am mentioning spiders, have you also noticed the increasing number of big spiders which are appearing indoors at the moment? These are actually the Giant house spider and the ones that dash across your floor and then stop for no apparent reason are apparently males looking for a mate. Like a cheetah they can run very fast for a short distance but then have to stop due to exhaustion! If you are interested, you may like to send your sightings to the House spider survey http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/23898679 which the Society of Biology are currently running. Funny old world!




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