Nursery Web Spider - Pisaura mirabilis

    Description

    Male length: 10-13 mm. Female length: 12-15 mm. They vary in colour from grey through orangey to dark brown. The abdomen is slender and is divided by a pale line and there are pale 'tear marks' at the sides of its eyes.

    Identification difficulty
    Habitat

    Usually found in Nettle beds or other dense vegetation.

    When to see it

    Peak season for adults is between May and July, but may be recorded in most months of the year.

    Life History

    It likes to sunbathe and typically holds its front two pairs of legs together pointing forwards. During mating the male presents the female with a carefully wrapped insect as a present. The female carries her eggs in a ball shaped, pea-sized sack with her. Just before the babies hatch she builds a silk tent and puts them inside for protection. Feeds on flies and other small insects. It uses quick sprinting and strength to overpower its prey.

    UK Status

    Widespread throughout much of Britain, though less records from the north.

    VC55 Status

    Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

    Further Information

    9479 British records to Jan 2013

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map