Monday, 15 October 2012

Scary

Our second walk along to the wetlands of the s'Albufera natural park, gave us more than we had bargained for.  It wasn't quite as hot as the first time we visited and we were walking along enjoying the views when I spotted something in the bushes which scared the life out of me.
With a web stretched out and spanning about 2ft across, the occupant was a female Banded Garden Spider (Argiope trifasciata).  It was rather tricky getting a good photo of this frightening creature with my hands shaking!  From below, it looked even worse...
The web is usually eaten and re-spun each day and is to catch it's meal of flying insects, of which there were plenty flying about in the sunshine.  Despite its fearsome looks, the spider is usually harmless to humans and in fact rather shy, preferring to scuttle away rather than stand and fight.  If they do bite you, the wound though not painful, can be very slow to heal- not that I was about to get close enough to test the theory!  Banded Garden Spiders prefer to catch and eat grasshoppers and there was an abundance of them.  The most numerous of which were Marsh Grasshoppers (Eypropocnemis plorans).
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