I love mornings. It’s when I feel at my best. That may have something to do with the fact that I do enjoy a morning run (plod) and what I can see on these runs. That time of the day when the world isn’t quite awake yet.
This week I was plodding along, enjoying the sights and sounds around me, when I spied the most ginormous and perfect spiders web ever!…Honest! It was huge and spanned the ditch. At first I jogged on by, not really wanting to look (saying I don’t like spiders is an understatement). Curiosity got the better of me though and I turned and walked back to inspect the web (any excuse to walk!).
In the middle of the biggest orb web, I think I have ever seen, was a large and quite spectacular looking spider. Just looking at it made my toes curl, but you have to give credit where credit is due and the web was a work of art.
Having only my phone on me I quickly took a couple of photos, knowing they wouldn’t be that good due to the angle of the web and the low sun.
I Then Carried On Home
On reaching home I checked the photos on my phone, and as I suspected they weren’t very good. So I grabbed my big girls camera and Betty (my bicycle) and keeping my fingers crossed that the web had not broken, I headed back to the spot where the spider was.
The spider was no longer in the center feeding on prey, but was doing a bit of web maintenance. There I stood at the side of the road trying to take some decent photos, feeling only a tad self conscious (a feeling I’m getting used to).
I don’t know if you’ve ever watched a spider doing web maintenance, but they don’t keep still. The spider seems to be literally spinning silk out of it’s abdomen and vibrating at the same time.
Unfortunately because the web was at a funny angle over a ditch I could not not span with my legs, the photos aren’t the best. After doing some of the most uncomfortable and toe curling research I have ever done. I learned that the spider was a female wasp spider (not really a surprise when you look at it’s body). Is totally harmless. And has fangs strong enough to penetrate quite thick clothing.
Photos Of That Wasp Spider
The wasp spider spins a distinctive zigzag pattern through the center of it’s web.
The abdomen of this female wasp spider was at least an inch long. Apparently the males are brown in colour and significantly smaller. They rarely survive mating.
It’s quite obvious where this spider got it’s name. Although I’m thinking Big Bertha may have been another perfect name.
This close up isn’t the sharpest as the spider was vibrating. But if you look closely you can see where the silk is coming out of her abdomen and her back legs are doing the ‘knitting’ of the web.
After finishing her web maintenance, the wasp spider settled down to snack on a juicy bit of prey. You can see a bit of the distinctive zigzag running down the side of the photo.
Just editing the photos and writing this post has made my toes cramp. One thing’s for certain I will be pulling the duvet right back before getting into bed tonight.
Where Are They Found?
The wasp spider is native to the Mediterranean, but are also found in the UK now. Don’t worry they aren’t house spiders, they much prefer the peace and quiet of fields and grassland.
Have you ever seen a wasp spider whilst out and about?
© 2016, Debbie. All rights reserved.