Sunday, March 08, 2015

Nursery Web Spider

A new taxon - the spiders or Araneae. They form the largest order in the class Arachnida. I always thought spiders were synonymous with Arachnida but the class includes scorpions, harvestmen, ticks, mites, and solifuges. I confess that they're not my favourite group but perhaps by getting to know them better they'll grow on me. 
Spiders differ from insects in having no antennae. Their bodies are also divided into two parts rather than three: the cephalothorax and abdomen. They're also unusual amongst the arthropods in having no extensor muscles, extending their legs instead by a system of hydraulics. 
This chap (or chapess, I'm not sure how you tell) was making the most of the sunshine this morning by basking on our railway sleeper wall in the garden. I am lucky to have a friend who's something of an expert on spiders. He identified it as Pisaura mirabilis or the Nursery Web spider. Thanks Dave!
Post a Comment