Thursday, 13 September 2012

Garden Spider

I recently saw this fine example of the European Garden Spider catching its prey. According to Wikipedia "European garden spiders have mottled markings across the back, with five or more large, white dots forming a cross. The white dots result from cells filled with guanine, which is a byproduct of protein metabolism." You can clearly see the white cross on this one's body.

When I first spotted it, the spider was stationary in the middle of its web.

Then a small insect flew into the web, causing it to vibrate - and alert the waiting spider, which immediately rushed off towards the unfortunate victim.

Within a few seconds the spider was tucking into its meal - an aphid by the looks of it.


I wasn't specifically trying to photograph a spider. I just happened to see it as I was lining up a shot of my olive tree, whose fruits are forming now:

Don't get too excited. That olive is about 5mm in diameter!


  1. Bingo! That's the spider which lives in my greenhouse. I'm not very fond of spiders so I don't get too close, but it's a definite identification. There's another living on the outside of the greenhouse too.

  2. Awesome photo's. Spider's play such a valuable role in the food chain, helping to control the numbers of unwanted pests. It is such a pity that most people seem to have an inherent fear of them. This time of the year always seems to bring the rain spiders in, I have had them in my shower AGAIN!, in my daughter's, son's and our bedroom. I never kill them but relocating them outside is always a scary task.

  3. You were small once too - the olive looks very exciting to me.

  4. Why oh why did I open this post just before I go to sleep?
    Surely the title should have given me a clue! :$
    I'm trying to focus on the olive now instead.
    Enjoy your weekend whatever you have planned.

  5. Spiders are such fascinating creatures. On our website we have a video taken of a garden spider spinning it's web. We slowed down the film and it was amazing to watch how the web was produced.


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