This was probably the very first digital photograph I had ever taken of a spider which I took back in 2005 when I bought my first digital camera, hence the drop in quality. But this delightfully named spider is such an interesting one I wanted to add it to my blog.
This is a dark coloured spider, where the males and females are quite similar. Both sexes maybe be slightly darker in colour, or so dark that the lighter margins maybe indistinguishable or be reduced to a series of pale dots. Body length up to 14mm.
This spider may bite humans, causing skin irritation which can be quite painful resulting in burning and itching sensations, redness and white lumps. It is a nocturnal hunter, and spins its web just before dark to catch moths and other nocturnal insects.
Females are seen all year round, where as the males are seen in the summer. Found in woods and gardens, hiding under the bark of trees, especially rotten stumps or logs. They can also be found resting on fence posts and gates. It is common and widespread throughout Britain, although not frequently seen.
Photographs of Walnut Orb-weaver (Nuctenea umbratica), taken June 2005 , rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2005. Camera used Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W1.