Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Beautiful Creatures

We have some really lovely critters here, small critters that are easy to miss if you're too busy to look. I have no idea of the names of most of them since they are 'new' to me since moving to France. One I have discovered is the soldat and we have loads of them - coupling here in this photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

I was trying to establish the depth of our pond today when I came across this beautiful spider - a biggie, you can see the red clover head as a reference point. At present I don't know what it's called so I'm on a mission to find out. If anyone knows before I track down a name, please post a comment.

Update - it's a wasp spider (Argiope bruennichi) and this one is a female as the males are much thinner in body. They are Orb Weavers and apparently their web takes just one hour to make. They spin it in the morning, catch their prey during the day, then eat the web and prey at night. When the females have just reached sexual maturity their jaws are soft for a short time and that is when the males approach for mating. If the males leave it too late they get eaten!!

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