Thursday, 23 September 2010

Beasties

It looks like rain this morning, so we have decided to wait a bit and see if things look better later.  So, in the absence of any pictures from out and about this morning, here are some more from our garden.  Firstly, my nemesis.....SPIDERS!
This is a male Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus).  It was attempting to approach a particularly large female in order to have his 'wicked way' with her, when he made a false move, attracted her attention in the wrong way and decided the best course of action was to cut his losses and drop from her web onto the ground.  By doing this, he avoided becoming her lunch but startled me enough to make me jump six inches in the air.  I caught him as he scuttled into the grass.
On the same subject, another, nasty-looking beastie was seen climbing up our house. This time, a Wolf Spider (Pardosa amentata). Now, I have mentioned these before - see here - These are common spiders in our gardens and get the name 'wolf' from their habit of chasing prey instead of spinning a web and waiting for something to stumble into it. On the head there are eight eyes arranged in three rows; the first row comprises four small eyes, the second contains two larger eyes and the third row has two medium-sized eyes. Very useful!
A strange little creature next, seen walking across our patio the other day. Looking like a small Rove Beetle, it is in fact a Staphylinid beetle. It has the unfortunate quality of liking dung and it is from this charming habit that it gets it's scientific name Coprophilus (from the Greek for 'dung-loving').
We have some nice visitors to our gardens don't we?
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