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_MG_1851 Nursery web spider with cocoon, Pisaura mirabilis | by Vic.Parsons.
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_MG_1851 Nursery web spider with cocoon, Pisaura mirabilis

The Nursery web spider dosen't build a web to catch it's prey, instead it actively hunts and stalks it's prey. The female carries her cocoon of eggs by hooking it with her fangs and will carry it until just before the young hatch at which point she will build a tent shaped web (nursery) around the cocoon by drawing grass blades together to make a roof and then she'll cut an opening in the cocoon for the young to emerge into the safety of the nursery. She will then stand guard over the spiderlings until they have had their first molt at which point they are relatively self sufficient and will leave the safety of the nursery.

Quite a dedicated and protective mother :-))

 

This one is walking over a large, dense patch of spikey Polytrichum moss and one item of note is that she has a strangely stunted left forelimb.

 

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Taken on August 2, 2011