Saturday, August 10, 2013

Argiope bruennichi

 A Spider in Waiting

at the centre of her web; size indicates that this is a female

On the aia, the former threshing floor, I recently spied what looked like a wasp captured in a spider's web. The web was at head height as it had been woven between the foliage of a phlomis plant which is growing above the aia, so I was able to observe it easily. 

On closer examination the wasp turned out to be a handsome spider, its body about two centimetres long. After taking some photos I looked it up: it is a wasp spider, or argiope bruennichi  identified in 1772 by Scopoli. Some more info here.

seen from the other side, probably her underside
P.S. Since I posted this over one week ago our friend the wasp spider has managed to capture, kill and consume at least three large prey, moths mostly. She is getting fatter and fatter, and she is still sitting there, in the centre of her web even after a rainstorm.

ten days later: she is quite tubby

And, just for the record, it appears that the presence of the wasp spider is an indication of a lack of pollution in the area...


  1. Such keen observation, and two extraordinarily precise photos of such a small beautiful being. And the bonus of butterflies and bees on the side! I loved this post.

  2. These photos are gorgeous but a bit frightening. What a relief to read that the creature is only 2 cm long!


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