Spider News Update 11th August:-click here for a BBC Nature Item
I recently attended the Sussex Wildlife Trust spider course held at Lewis Railway lands.
The course was presented by Ray Hale and he did a first class job in promoting these extremely interesting invertebrates, who, lets face it, have a bit of a PR problem.
Spiders have exploited nearly every terrestrial environment and many aquatic ones too, and having been around for approximately 385 million years I feel they at least deserve a mention on our blog.
I am extremely grateful to Gordon Jarvis who sent me these excellent spider pictures, all of which were recorded locally.
First up, Araneus quadratus or the Four-spot orb weaver.
Next, Lariniodes cornutus, the abdomen of this spider looks as if it were sculpted from marble.
Note spiders have two major body regions, a cephalothorax (head and thorax fused, also known as a prosoma) and an abdomen.
Here is a nice link to some spider anatomy:
Evarcha falcate; a jumping spider. Most spiders have poor eye-sight but the jumping spiders are the exceptions.
Marpissa muscosa; another jumping spider. This one is delightful, look at its little face.
Steatoda nobilis or (False Widow Spider) One of a group of spiders know as ‘False Widows’ because of their resemblance to the notorious Black Widow Spider. Still, best not to mess with it though!
Misumeninae xysticus bifasciatus A member of the crab spider family.
Finally I must mention Tegenaria saeva or Tegenaria gigantea (difficult to tell apart). These are the familiar spiders that run across the living room floor when you are watching the television at night. Unfortunately one of my photos.
If despite reading this, you still cannot bring yourself to love spiders, then please remember that they are a very important food source for many other animals including insects, reptiles and birds.