Monday, 26 October 2015

Fen Raft Spider

This year I was keen to seek out and observe the Fen Raft Spider (Dolomedes plantarius) on Pevensey Levels. In September, I started following the fortunes of a particular female which was easily recognised by a pale patch on her carapace.

 
I first saw her on 19th September 2015 when I found her basking in the sunshine with her egg sac.

 
 
On 2nd October 2015 I found her standing guard over her nursery web. The mass of spiderlings can
 clearly be seen within the web and the remains of the empty egg sac can just be seen behind the grass blade to the right of the spiderlings.


  
On 20th October 2015 I found her resting on a reed blade away from the now empty nursery web. The spiderlings have dispersed and the female will see out her remaining days basking in the late season sunshine.
 


 I last saw the female on 22nd October 2015 basking in the watery sunshine. She has probably raised two broods during the summer.
 
 

 
 

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