Mum Watching over her Nest

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Mum Watching over her Nest

The Wasp spider (Argiope bruennichi) is a species of orb-web spider distributed throughout central Europe, Northern Europe, north Africa and parts of Asia. Like many other members of the genus Argiope, (including St Andrew's Cross spiders), it shows striking yellow and black markings on its abdomen.

The spider builds a spiral orb web at dawn or dusk, commonly in long grass a little above ground level, taking it approximately an hour. The prominent zigzag shape called the stabilimentum, or web decoration, featured at the centre of the orb is of uncertain function, though it may be to attract insects.

When a prey item is first caught in the web, Argiope bruennichi will quickly immobilise its prey by wrapping it in silk. The prey is then bitten and then injected with a paralysing venom and a protein dissolving enzyme.

The male of the species is much smaller than the female. It can often be seen in or near a female's web waiting for her to complete her final moult, at which time she reaches sexual maturity. At this time her chelicerae (jaws) will be soft for a short time and the male may mate with the female without the danger of being eaten.

During Summer 2006, research was carried out in the UK to find that there has been an influx of these spiders to the UK. The colour is still similar, although the yellow stripes are a bit more cream coloured.

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Comments (8)

Chris10 © on October 15, 2012

Ha, je hebt haar gevonden Erik en wel tezamen met bal. Zo kan je mooi het verschil in grootte zien. Fantastisch joh!! 'k Heb gisteren ook nog ff gezocht, maar niet gevonden.

Daag, Christien.

Erik van den Ham on October 16, 2012

Ja leuk he inmiddels is moeders verhuist maar de eerste dagen zat ze onder dit nest.

Groetjes, Erik

tanneke on October 16, 2012

M-2 Fantastisch!

Ghiocela on October 16, 2012

Great capture and veryy impressive shot, dear Erik! I like it! Warm wishes, Simona

cjlin on October 17, 2012

Wonderful shot Erik, in here there're not such speice spider, but we had a different Great Mum). Happy days. cjlin

bdeh on October 17, 2012

Prima close up en info Erik, ik ben er nog geen tegengekomen. Groeten Berend

hugodillen@telenet.b… on October 23, 2012

Knap gespot, Erik, en Mooi vastgelegd. Fijn dat je het nest ook gevonden hebt. Groetjes uit Vlaanderen, Hugo.

©junebug on October 24, 2012

Beautiful picture of a wasp spider and her nest, Erik! I've seen the spider overhere too, but never her nest! LIKE! Greetings, Anne

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on October 15, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Erik van den Ham