Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Spider Season...

Autumn is the prime time for finding spiders in the UK. Many species reach adulthood in August and September and become much more noticeable and numerous. After a few short field trips in the past week I've found large numbers of Araneus species around including some spectacularly large specimens.

Araneus quadratus: R. Harris
They come in a variety of colours
Araneus quadratus: R. Harris
Araneus quadratus: R. Harris

Araneus marmoreus: R. Harris
Not the commonest species - always a pleasure to see.
Araneus marmoreus: R. Harris
Araneus diadematus: R. Harris
 This little Cheiracanthium erraticum is also frequently found at the moment, mainly in long grassy areas where they bend the tops of the stems over to make a little hideaway.

Cheiracanthium erraticum: R. Harris
Cheiracanthium erraticum hideaway.
R. Harris
Of course spiders aren't the only creatures you will encounter when searching through the undergrowth. I counted seven juvenile Common Lizards Zootoca vivipara sunning themselves too.

Common Lizard: R. Harris
Slow Worm, Anguis fragilis: R. Harris
Meadow Grasshopper, Chorthippus parallelus
Closer to home in the garden at Whitestaunton, the apple trees are laden with fruit, as they are in most places this year. The fallen bounty makes ripe pickings for the flies and wasps. This one is Vespula vulgaris.

Vespula vulgaris: R. Harris
Hoping the current run of good weather continues for a while yet. There are a few spiders I'd like to get under my belt this year and haven't really had the chance until now.

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