Belongs to: spiders

Nursery web spider Pisaura mirabilis


Best time to see: May to end Jul

Key facts

This spider gets its name because the females constructs a web to protect its young rather than to catch food

Mainly found in woodland, but also in long grass and sometimes hedgerows

Common and widespread throughout Britain

Recognition

Females 12-15mm long and males a bit smaller; grey, orange or brown with a pointed abdomen

Often sit with their front and back legs together pointing up and down a leaf, waiting for prey to wander past

Eats small insects, and sometimes other spiders

Lifecycle

Male catches an insect and presents it to the female before mating, to avoid getting eaten himself

Female carries her eggs around in a pea-sized egg sac until they are ready to hatch

Constructs a tent-like nursery web then stays to protect it from predators

  • Main photo
  • web
  • spiderlings

Photo © Tony Gunton

Photo © Tony Gunton

Photo © Tony Gunton