Tuesday, 6 October 2009
Bugs of Leabank Square - Common Garden Spider
Just look at this beauty! She has got to be one of the most beautiful residents in Leabank Square! There are literally thousands of them around the green and riverbank at the moment.
Apparently the damp warmish late summer climate has made them last a bit longer than other years - but they may not be spinning webs for too much longer - so come and check them out while you can.
The female of the species ranges from 10-13mm, and the male is 4-8mm. They vary in colour from pale yellow or brown to almost black, but they can always be identified by the white cross-shaped group of spots on their abdomens.
Garden spiders build a circular orb-web with a recognisable spiral pattern. They sit in the centre waiting for an insect to collide into the web. The spider then rushes towards the trapped insect and wraps it in bands of sticky silk. When the insect is immobilised, the spider will finish off the insect with a bite and an injection of venom. It will then take the wrapped-up insect to the hub of the web where it devours its victim.
There are hundreds in the wildflower meadow at the moment - probably stocking up on smaller bugs for the winter. Please do yourself a favour and come and look at their beauty!