Living in the garden….

A Wasp Spider (Argiope bruennichi). These are spreading northwards in the UK, but came from Europe.

I first saw one a couple of years ago in the meadow near the house and watched it all summer. This one’s in the garden so I can see it whenever I go outside. The strange zig zag on the web is called a ‘stabilimentum’ and it’s unclear what it’s purpose is – but maybe it’s to ‘stabilise’ the web!

Anyway…I’ve found out more. The spider is a ‘she’. The male is tiny and boringly brown in comparison, and often doesn’t live long after mating. (Euphemism there, as the female kills him.)

The huge, basket/seed pod-like thing behind her is her egg sac. Carefully spun and then filled with eggs and then sealed. And guarded now in a new web.

When the proper cold weather arrives apparently she will die. The babies will overwinter in the sac and emerge in the Spring…

One thought on “Living in the garden….”

  1. In spite of the fact that I really don’t like spiders, that one is really rather beautiful. As long as it stays away from me. 😉

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