what type of spider is this?
by Linda Davis-James
(Dudley,West midlands UK)
I saw this spider a few months ago on an old car ramp leaning by a little shed,I haven't seen one like it before so was a little bewildered as to what type and if it was harmful. I am not a spider lover and was also worried in case my two dogs came across it as they would be liable of trying to catch it.
Drought Smart Plants reply:
Hi Linda, your spider appears to be a male nursery web spider - and don't worry, they won't harm your dogs - most dogs aren't bothered by spiders, they really don't pay much attention to them.
You can see more about the female nursery web spider here - she doesn't build a web, but carries the egg sac around with her.
The male and female both are wanderers, finding their prey of small insects as they go. Apparently, the male will actually bring the female a 'gift' of a small insect while courting!
You can tell the male by the two bulbous appendages in front of his face, which are actually where the sperm is produced. Contrary to popular myth, they are not fangs, and I would be doubtful if they have much in the way of venom.
As my old Dad used to say (in his Yorkshire accent) 'They're more afraid of you than you are of them' - I doubted it at the time, but the more I know about spiders, the more I realize just how true it is!
With garden spiders, I go by the motto, 'Live and Let Live' as they really are very useful to the gardener.
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