Thursday, 16 July 2009

Orb-web Spiders

I gathered some roses from a bush in my garden yesterday to put in a vase indoors. Afterwards I noticed something creeping about on the roses and went to investigate. It was this tiny spider which must have been transported into the house with the roses. It is an orb-web spider (Araniella cucurbitina). This is one of the smallest orb-web spiders, often spinning its web across a single leaf. It is only ten millimetres in length including its legs and has a bright red spot under the tip its abdomen. It is abundant in a wide range of trees and bushes.

Although the family name Araneidae is now preferred, these spiders are called Argiopidae in much of the older literature. Orb-web spiders spin more or less circular webs. The orb is built in a framework whose shape depends on the available supports. Most of the webs are slung in bushes, but walls and fences are equally acceptable. A description of the web-making process can be found here. Further information in the Araneidae can be found here.

Araniella cucurbitina

3 comments:

Alcester nature photography. said...

That is a really great pic of a spider fantastic colours.
Cheers Colin.

Greenfingers said...

That is a beautiful picture. I've noticed these spiders hanging in their web amongst the flowers of several shrubs in my garden - lurking in wait for visiting pollinators, maybe...

holdingmoments said...

Lovely shot Emma.
Great detail for something so small.