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spider Wasp Spiders

Identify It >   Spiders Section >   Wasp Spiders >


Scientific name:  Argiope bruennichi

Size:  Female 18mm (head + body), the male is less than 5mm

Distribution:  Found mainly in the southern counties of England but slowly spreading northwards.

Months seen:  April to October

Habitat:  Low growing grassland

Food:  Flies, grasshoppers and crickets

Special features:  This is one of our more exotic looking spiders.  It's a native spider of Mediterranean areas, and has only recently colonised England.  Despite the warning colouration this is not a dangerous species.  The wasp-like appearance is probably defensive, to deter predators.

The Wasp Spider builds its web close to the ground in order to catch grasshoppers and crickets. The female can often be seen hanging upside-down in the middle of her web throughout summer and autumn.  The web features a distinctive zig-zag patterned section running vertically through it.

The large abdomen features yellow, black and white stripes, and the cephalothorax is covered with silver coloured hair.  When viewed from underneath you can see two yellow stripes running lengthways along the abdomen.

The female Wasp Spider creates one of the largest egg sacs of any of the spiders found in Britain.  It is flask shaped, brown in colour and about 25mm across.  She fills it with eggs and then seals the top with more silk.

The male is much smaller, and is only active for a couple of weeks in July.  Like many other male spiders, he has to be careful when mating, to ensure he doesn't end up as dinner for the female.

Sightings

2009 - North London - John Barrett
2009 - Poole, Dorset - Brian Hemsworth
2009 - Studland Heath, Dorset - Judith Barnard
2009 - Althorne, Essex - David Hatton
2009 - Brentwood, Essex - Bob Cassels
2009 - Verwood, Dorset - Pete Tindall

2010 - Dartford, Kent - Chris Hayes
2010 - Rainham, Essex - Rita Goodwin
2010 - Lullingstone Park Golf Course, Orpington, Kent - Jeff James
2010 - Sidmouth, Devon - George Fallows
2010 - Epping Forest, E. London - Jules Plunkett
2010 - Chelmsford, Essex - Mike Tucker
2010 - Lancing, West Sussex - Katie Hatherillo
2010 - Greenhithe, Kent - Mark Colman
2010 - Colchester, Essex - Glyn Holloway
2010 - Godinton House, Asford, Kent - Sheila Budgen
2010 - Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex - Lindsey Pearce
2010 - Ipswich, Suffolk - Katharine Brock
2010 - Jaywick, Essex - Margaret O'Dell
2010 - Upchurch, Kent - Jan Watson
2010 - Temple Hill, Dartford, Kent - Paul Loft
2010 - Dunmow, Essex - Terry Jack
2010 - Isleworth, Middlesex - Julie Wilson
2010 - Brightlingsea, Essex - Jack Dowman
2010 - Portslade, East Sussex - Andrew Edwards
2010 - Titchfield, Hampshire - Simon Curtis
2010 - Seasalter, Kent - Malcolm Hardie

2011 - Wootton Creek, Isle of Wight - John Woracker
2011 - Ramsgate, Kent - Christina Benson & Granddaughters
2011 - Felixstowe - Georgina Goodwin
2011 - Henham, nr Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire - David & Rosie Pick
2011 - Bishopstoke, Eastleigh, Hampshire - Amy Bristow
2011 - Badbury Rings, Dorset - Abigail Griffin
2011 - Canterbury, Kent - Nick Smith & Sophie Munson
2011 - Eastbourne, East Sussex - Tim Cook

2012 - Leiston, Suffolk - Nick Fone
2012 - Upshire, Essex - Paul Chandler
2012 - Duxford, Cambridgeshire - Greg Hounsom
2012 - Guildford, Surrey - Ruth Hobbs

2013 - Wanstead Flats, East London - Anna Piranty
2013 - Biggleswade, Bedfordshire - David Mead
2013 - Portchester, Hampshire - Douglas Cole
2013 - Fletton Lakes Underpass, Peterborough - Phillip Hicks
2013 - Ramsgate, Kent - Anthony McIntyre
2013 - Bournemouth, Dorset - David Shore
2013 - Shotley, Suffolk - David Armstrong-Bell

2014 - Birchington, Kent - Ollie Fitt (photo)
2014 - Smallbrook Meadows, Warminster, Wiltshire - Clive Thomas (photo)
2014 - Windsor Great Park, Berkshire - Adam Holt
2014 - Hove, Sussex - Klyve Dawson (photo)
2014 - Durdle Door, Dorset - Leigh Harvey (photo)
2014 - Gillingham, Kent - Kellie Pickering (photo)
2014 - Mile End, London - Rehana Afghan (photo)
2014 - Hastings, East Sussex - Laurence Ball
2014 - Tunstall Forest, Suffolk - Krzysztof B Wicher (photo)
2014 - Boughton Monchelsea, Kent - Euan Craker (photo)
2014 - Boughton Sholden, near Deal, Kent - Colin Worman (photo)
2014 - Althorne, Essex - Ian Elvidge (photo)
2014 - Holbury, Southampton - Deborah Rawles (photo)
2014 - Exeter Airport - Adam Millington (photo)
2014 - Ashton-Under-Lyne, Lancashire - Phillip Oldman (photo)
2014 - Cambourne, Cambridgeshire - Nick Fosh (photo)
2014 - Tangmere, West Sussex - James Nightingale (photo)
2014 - Deal, Kent - David Harmes (photo)
2014 - Ramsgate, Kent - Colin and Tilly Westbrook (photo)
2014 - Queens Park, Bedfordshire - Wiebke and Ray Starke (photo)
2014 - Manston Airport, Ramsgate, Kent - Simon Piggott (photo)

2015 - Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire - Jamie Lovick (photo)
2015 - Richmond Park, S.W. London - Chris Garrard (photo)
2015 - East Sussex - Victoria Bonnett (photo)
2015 - Rainham, Kent - Bob Donkin (photo)
2015 - Pirbright, Surrey - Archie Whicher (photo)
2015 - Buckfastleigh, Devon - Adam Course (photo)
2015 - Herne Bay, Kent - David Barnes (photo)
2015 - Shoeburyness, Essex - Adrian Parker (photo)
2015 - Sheerness Docks, Kent - Lee Cole (photo)
2015 - Old Sarum, Salisbury, Wiltshire - Jon Beauchamp (photo)
2015 - Hamble Estuary, Southampton - Christine Cliburn
2015 - Crabtree Allotments, Camberley, Surrey - Frank Jones
2015 - Merriott, Somerset - Carl Smith (photo)
2015 - Hill Head, Hampshire - Ken Irvine (photo)
2015 - Hadleigh, Suffolk - Lee Mottram (photo)
2015 - Beddington, Croydon, S. London - Christopher Houston (photo)

2016 - Exmouth, Devon - Jim Burston (photo)
2016 - Langley Country Park, Bucks - Brandon Greenstone (photo)
2016 - Bedfordshire - Ben Pike
2016 - Stoke Park Woods, nr. Eastleigh, Hampshire - Jennifer Gosling (photo)
2016 - Plymstock, Plymouth, Devon - Jasmine Ive (photo)
2016 - Brighton, East Sussex - Simon Mathews (photo)
2016 - Feniton, nr Honiton, East Devon - Katie Drew (photo)
2016 - Arlesey, nr. Letchworth, Hertfordshire - Jeremy Huntley (photo)
2016 - Wareham, Dorset - Jules & Dene Foote (photo)

2017 - Lee-on-Solent, Hampshire - Amanda Foster
2017 - Dover, Kent - Dreda Van-Beer
2017 - Frinton on Sea, Essex - Michelle Hinchcliffe (photo)
2017 - Yateley, Hampshire - Janet Young (photo)
2017 - Godshill, Isle of Wight - Ali Trappitt (photo)
2017 - Sparsholt, Winchester, Hampshire - Patricia Yeates (photo)
2017 - Topsham, Devon - Caroline
2017 - Bushy Park, Teddington, Middlesex - Ida Buckland (photo)
2017 - Redhill, Surrey - Roman Russocki (photo)
2017 - Sudbury, Suffolk - Karen Mabbutt (photo)
2017 - Singleton, Ashford, Kent - Jason Mitchell (photo)
2017 - Bromley, Kent - Joe West (photo)
2017 - Cambourne, Cambridge - Will Matthews (photo)
2017 - Littlehampton, W. Sussex - Owen and Olly Watson + Sean and Ewan Reynolds (photo)
2017 - Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, E. London - Terry and the botany class
2017 - Henfield, West Sussex - Roger Keen (photo)
2017 - Saltdean, Brighton, East Sussex - Annabelle Fox
2017 - Witham, Essex - Katrina Howell (photo)
2017 - Gravesend, Kent - Louise Taylor (photo)
2017 - Honor Oak Park Station, London SE23 - Ashleigh Head (photo)
2017 - Bury Saint Edmonds, Suffolk - Adrian Giblett (photo)


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