Wednesday, 25 April 2007

The Queen and the Arachnid

At this time of year Queen Common Wasps are out and about looking for somewhere to start their colony. They are often quite slow in the cold mornings and they pose well for photographs. They are not everybody's favourite insect but they do have a certain beauty. Unlike Bees when a Wasp stings it can withdraw it and carry on about its business, once a bee has stung it dies.

Woodlouse spider - Dysdera crocata. I found this interesting looking spider in a damp corner of the garage that I was clearing out. In general it lives under stones, in rockeries, in compost heaps and logs in warm places. It has a chestnut red thorax and an almost salmon pink abdomen. It has massive jaws, able easily to pierce the hard, chalky exteriors of woodlice and millipedes and consequently has quite a painful bite. A big one can pierce the skin and draw blood of the very soft-skinned. I must admit I quite like spiders, but, given this ones reputation, I didn't pick it up in case it managed to get those jaws attached to my finger!


Steve Coates said...

Thanks for the ID Tony - I disturbed one of these spiders in Eastbourne earlier this year - nasty-looking brute!


Tony Morris said...

They're not all that pretty are they!