That Plant Pot Again

Philodromus

This is but a small plant pot, and I know you may think this odd, but I just grow a clump of moss in it all year round and nothing more. It appears to attract some varied wildlife (especially if you lift it up and look underneath it) and this Philodromus sp. crab spider was one of them. I spotted it yesterday whilst working the garden, and it appeared to be in a bit of a state of confusion, poor thing, as it kept going round and around the top edge of the pot.

Double click if you wanna get closer…

October 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Moss Becomes A Jungle

Clubiona sp.

I was photographing another species of spider on a plant pot (a lot seems to happen on this plant pot for some reason?) and this one came along. I think it is a young Clubiona sp. and it was so small it was getting lost amongst the moss leaves.

The darn thing would not keep still hence it is not as sharp as I would like.

Double click if you wanna get closer…

October 2019 © Pete Hillman.

The Alien

Garden Spider Araneus diadematus

… not really … just the Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus)

Yep … if you really, really wanna … feel free to click on the image to enlarge and click again to get even … (deep scary voice here) … closer …


July 2019, rear garden, South Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Join The Clubiona

Clubiona sp.

Clubiona sp.

Clubiona sp.

I found this little Clubiona sp. of spider under my green recycling bin hatch.

Oh … do not click twice on the top full face image unless you really want this nice spider right in ‘your’ face ….


July 2019, rear garden, South Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Zebra

Zebra Spider Salticus scenicus

These Zebra Spider (Salticus scenicus), always appear to be quite territorial, and I only ever see them around the outside of my shed and garage. And boy do these little jumping spiders jump!

Feel free to click to enlarge and click again to get even closer on the images …

July 2019, rear garden, South Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

The Crab, The Bee And Three Flies

Goldenrod Spider Misumena vatia

This mighty female crab spider (Misumena vatia) grabs itself a nice bee for lunch and these three little freeloader flies want their piece of it as well.

Feel free to click to enlarge and click again to get even closer … only if you really want to.


July 2019, local field, South Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Caught In A Deadly Trap

Goldenrod Spider Misumena vatia

I have never seen anything quite like this before. A butterfly snared by a crab spider.

Feel free to click to enlarge and click again to get even closer.


July 2019, local field, South Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

On The Edge … Again

Goldenrod Spider Misumena vatia

Click and click again on the image to get that little bit closer … only if you want to look her in her many eyes!


This is the crab spider Misumena vatia, and a lovely female on the edge of one of my flowerpots.

June 2019, rear garden, South Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

In Death’s Embrace

Goldenrod Spider (Misumena vatia)

Click and click again on the image to get that little bit closer …

A sweat bee snared by a Goldenrod Spider (Misumena vatia). June 2019, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Aliens Amongst Us

Bdellidae Snout Mite Trombidiidae sp

It is quite amazing what you can find by lifting a leaf in the backyard and looking hard. This tiny little Snout Mite scurried about in circles and was hell to try and photo before it disappeared down a crack in a wall. This was the best image I got, and how strange it is. It belongs to a family called Bdellidae which are amongst the first mites ever to be described. They are predatory mites which feed on other arthropods, and inhabit soil, leaf litter and leaves. They come under the same class as spiders – Arachnida – for they have eight legs, and the order Trombidiidae – mites. You can see how tiny it is for it has one leg on some dried snail excrement. Talk about putting your foot in it!

Click and click again on the image to get that little bit closer …


June 2019, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

 

Getting A Room

Sitticus pubescens

Now this little spider wasn’t in the green recyling bin, but on the wall of my study. I took it outside to take some snaps.  It is one of the ‘Jumping Spiders’, and do they jump!

Click and click again on the images to get that little bit closer …


May 2019, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Recycling

Candy Stripe Spider Male Enoplognatha sp form lineata

It’s quite amazing what you can find in your green recycle bin at times. I found this male Candy Stripe Spider Enoplognatha sp. form lineata clinging to the underside of the lid.


May 2019, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Warming The Eggs

Pardosa sp

This is a female Wolf Spider with her eggsac Pardosa sp. We were kind of playing hide and see for a while as I tried to photograph her sunning herself.

Pardosa sp

Mind you I suppose I would object if I had a giant lens thrust into my face whilst I was sunbathing.

Pardosa sp

Click and click again on the images to get that little bit closer … if you dare …


May 2019, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Where The Hairy Meets The Hairy

Hairy legs and hairy leaves, this is where Pardosa sp (possibly Pardosa amentata the Spotted Wolf Spider) meets Bugle Ajuga reptans. This is the darker male of the spider species, and you can just about make out its large dark palps at the front. I see a lot of these at the bottom of the garden this time of the year and throughout the summer months.

Click and click again on the image to get that little bit closer if you wish …


April 2019, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Predator

Nursery Web Spider Pisaura mirabilis

Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer


Nursery Web Spider Pisaura mirabilis, May 2018, local field margin, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman

Intelligent Nature

Tetragnatha sp

This is a Long-jawed Orb-weaver Spider Tetragnatha sp. stretched along one of the stalks of my iris which is growing in the garden pond. It apparently somehow knows that the iris is flowering and attracting airborn insects. No doubt, in due course, it will spin a web to attempt to catch them.

Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer


May 2018, garden pond, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman Sigma 18-300mm.

Philodromus dispar

Philodromus dispar male

I found this lovely on my living room ceiling. It is a species of running crab spider, and a male, and oh boy do they run fast!

Philodromus dispar male

It is normally found on the lower branches of trees and shrubs in wooded areas, but it is also found in gardens and occasionally indoors. The sexes vary quite differently, hence the scientific name. It is quite common in Southern Britain.

Philodromus dispar male

Philodromus dispar male

Click once to expand view, click again to get that little bit closer


May 2018, photos taken in rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman

From The Kitchen Ceiling

Zebra Spider Salticus scenicus

First time I have found one of these Jumping Spiders in my house. I took him outside where he very briefly struck this pose for my macro lens.


Double click on images to enlarge.


Zebra Spider Salticus scenicus May 2018, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman

False Widow Spider

Rabbit Hutch Spider Steatoda bipunctata

This is one of the False Widow Spiders, the Rabbit Hutch Spider Steatoda bipunctata, for it is commonly found near or in human habitation such as outbuildings or sheds. They are called False Widow Spiders for they are commonly mistaken for the real thing which are not found in the UK, unless accidentally imported, which is rare.

Rabbit Hutch Spider Steatoda bipunctata

Rabbit Hutch Spider Steatoda bipunctata

I found this one in a sack of potatoes which I had been keeping in the garage.

 


Double click on images to enlarge.


May 2018, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman

Saying Hi From The Sun Chair

Sitticus pubescens

Finally this Jumping Spider Sitticus pubescens sits long enough, maybe curious about what I was up to, to strike a pose for my camera giving me the ‘goggle-eyed’ look these critters are famous for. It caught me without my converter, but still gave me a reasonably good show before jumping off and away.

May 2018, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman

Jumping Spider Sitticus pubescens

Sitticus pubescens

I have come across two of these today in the back garden, one on a fence and one on my garage wall. The one on the fence got away so no pics there, but they are lightning fast and they jump so very well, hence their name. I wanted to get a goggle-eye head shot, but too fast, it was gone and disappeared in a crack between paving.

Sitticus pubescens

With this spider I am struck at how lovely the colours and patterning are, and how fine the hairs are which coat its head and body.


Double click on images to enlarge.


May 2018, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman

Theridion melanurum

Theridion melanurum

This small yet bulbous-bodied spider was found under the lid of my green recycling bin. It is generally found in and around buildings, and has got quite a distinctive zig-zaggy median band. It is common and widespread in much of England.

Theridion melanurum

The pose below is its defensive posture. They do not like been blown on, and will sometimes adopt this position and stay still for a short while, otherwise they are on the move all the time until they find shelter.

Theridion melanurum

Theridion melanurum

Theridion melanurum


Double click on images to enlarge.


April 2018, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman

Nursery Web Spider Pisaura mirabilis II

Nursery Web Spider Pisaura mirabilis

This was quite a nice spring surprise at the start of April. I like how variable the patterning and the colouring can be on these spiders.

Nursery Web Spider Pisaura mirabilis

It belongs to a family called Pisauridae, and there are only 2 British genera.

Nursery Web Spider Pisaura mirabilis

Nursery Web Spider Pisaura mirabilis


Double click on images to enlarge.


April 2018, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman

Philodromus albidus

Philodromus albidus


Double click on images to enlarge.


This is one of the smallest spiders in the genus, and the first time I have seen it here. It is typically found on the lower branches of broadleaved trees, in woodland clearings and margins. It is very similar to P. rufus, but P. rufus is seen much further south than here.

April 2018, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman

Platnickina tincta

Platnickina tincta

This little spider with a pretty pattern and colour was peering through my study window this morning. It is usually found on low vegetation, shrubs, and the lower branches of trees.

Platnickina tincta

It often occurs in the webs of other small spiders, feeding on them or the prewrapped parcels of food found there.

Platnickina tincta

It is common and widespread throughout southern and central England.

Platnickina tincta


Double click on images to enlarge.


April 2018, front garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman

My Smallest Spider – The Goblin Spider

Goblin Spider Oonops domesticus

This has to be the smallest spider I have ever encountered. I found it on my bathroom wall early this morning, and it is called Oonops domesticus also known as the Goblin Spider. It was so small and delicate I had to use toilet paper to catch it, believe it or not. They only grow 1-2mm (0.08in) long. For such a small creature it moved very rapidly and was hard to keep track of. After taking these photos I lost it under the kitchen table somewhere, and I doubt I will ever find it again. Because it was raining I had shaped a leaf to fit the bottom of a small pot so I could contain it and get a natural setting for the photo, and took the images on my kitchen table.

Goblin Spider Oonops domesticus

It belongs to a family of spiders called Oonipidae, of which there is one genus, and 2 British species. Oonops pulcher is the other species, and is generally found under bark, stones and leaves, where Oonops domesticus is found in buildings. To accurately identify them you would need a microscope, although Oonops domesticus has five tibial spine pairs where Oonops pulcher has four, and they do live in distinctly different habitats.

It has six tightly clustered eyes, and is a creeping, stealthy hunter of small invertebrates, interspersed with rapid movement. It apparently gently strokes its prey with outstretched legs before darting forward and biting it. Because of its size and nocturnal habit it usually goes unnoticed in houses, and is probably under recorded. During the day it remains hidden in a silken cell behind furniture or in cracks in woodwork. It is widely scattered and uncommon in England.


Double click on images to enlarge.


April 2018, disovered in house, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman

Young Cucumber Green Spider

Cucumber Green Spider Araniella cucurbitina sensu lato

The weather has vastly improved these past days here, and spring is in full swing with sunshine and higher temperatures, yet all the spiders appear to like coming indoors? I have found several different species over the past few days inside the house. This one Cucumber Green Spider Araniella cucurbitina sensu lato is a tiny spiderling which I found on my dining room ceiling, most likely carried into the house on hair or clothing, or even blown in by the wind.

Cucumber Green Spider Araniella cucurbitina sensu lato


Double click on images to enlarge.


April 2018, disovered in house, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman

Lepthyphantes minutus

Lepthyphantes minutus

Despite its name, this is one of our largest money spiders with a body length of 3-4mm long (about 0.2in). It is usually found in broadleaved woodland, but can also be found in houses, which is where this one was found.

Lepthyphantes minutus

It is common and widespread throughout much of Britain.

Lepthyphantes minutus

April 2018, discovered in house, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman

Spider Spring

Running Crab Spider Philodromus

Spiders are appearing around and about the garden now the weather is improving. This is about the fifth species I have seen now. It is a Running Crab Spider from a family of spiders called Philodromidae. There are 17 British species in 3 genra. This one is a Philodromus species, and would require microscopic examination for an accurate identification.

I always tend to find these lounging about the garden, either on vegetation, walls or fencing, but they are quite agile and fearsome predators of other invertebrates.

April 2018, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman

Spring Is For Warming Up

Spotted Wolf Spider Pardosa amentata female

I have seen these spiders begin to emerge in the garden from the first warm days of spring when the sun has finally broken free of winter. They appear on the rocks, decking and paving around my pond in fairly large numbers, stretching out and warming up their bodies like sun worshippers. From a family of spiders called
Lycosidae, which comes from ancient Greek meaning ‘wolf’, these wolf spiders are very efficient hunters, with excellent eyesight, speed and agility.

Spotted Wolf Spider Pardosa amentata female


Double click on images to enlarge.


Spotted Wolf Spider Pardosa amentata females, April 2018, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman

Mimicking Wallpaper

Goldenrod Spider Misumena vatia

I initially discovered this little Misumena vatia on the wallpaper near my living room window. This spider notoriously mimicks its background so it can fool and capture prey to feed on. I think it is the first time I have seen one with dark stripes on its back. I did the photo shoot outside.

Goldenrod Spider Misumena vatia

Goldenrod Spider Misumena vatia

Goldenrod Spider Misumena vatia


Double click on images to enlarge.


Goldenrod Spider Misumena vatia, April 2018, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman

From A Fly’s Perspective

Sheet Web

From a fly’s perspective caught in a spider web. How do you get out of that? Erm, you don’t.


Double click on images to enlarge.


Sheet Web, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. July 2017.

All In The Patterning

 Double click on imagMissing-sector Orb Weaver Zygiella x-notata malees to enlarge.  August 2017, Staffordshire, England.

This is the male of the Missing-sector Orb Weaver Zygiella x-notata. It is smaller than the female, and less rounded. But I find the colour and pattern on the abdomen quite beautiful, for a spider.

Missing-sector Orb Weaver Zygiella x-notata male


Double click on images to enlarge.


August 2017, Staffordshire, England.

Tetragnatha pinicola

Tetragnatha pinicola

This is the first time I had seen this small yet pretty patterned spider in the garden. It grows up to 6mm (about a quarter of an inch) long, and it is usually found on trees and shrubs where it forms its webs.

Tetragnatha pinicola

Tetragnatha pinicola

Tetragnatha pinicola

Tetragnatha pinicola


Double click on images to enlarge.


August 2017, rear garden, Staffordshire, England.

In The Study Room

Philodromus sp aureolus group

I came across this little Philodromus sp from the aureolus group in my small study room from where I am now typing this. I find they make their way into the house fairly often in the summer months. They can be quite variable in their colours and markings and very hard to identify without microscopic examination.

Philodromus sp aureolus group

Philodromus sp aureolus group


Double click on images to enlarge.


August 2017, Staffordshire, England.

On The Rocks

Lace-weaver Spider Amaurobius similis

Lace-weaver Spider Amaurobius similis


Double click on images to enlarge.


August 2017, rear garden, Staffordshire, England.