Saturday, 6 July 2013

Labyrinth Spider

Labyrinth spider

Commonly known in the UK as our own funnel web spider it is actually harmless and quite common in many areas.

I photographed this one at Rosenannon Downs near Wadebridge on the heath vegetation.

On checking the details I include some info from http://www.uksafari.com/labyrinth.htm

"Labyrinth spiders produce a sheet web. It's so thick in places that it appears white in colour.

The web can be at ground level or up to 1.5 metres from the ground.  The majority are found around 60cm from the ground.  They are nearly always built along a south facing hedgerow, verge or grassy bank.

At one end there is a funnel shaped retreat, which can cause alarm because it is sometimes confused with other more dangerous funnel web spiders.  Further down the funnel is a labyrinth of tunnels which gives this spider its name.

If you could find your way through the tunnels you would eventually find the reason for this mysterious construction.  Hidden in the centre is the egg sac
containing all the developing young.

The females remain with the young until they are ready to leave the web.  Sometimes they die before the spiderlings go, and in this case the young will eat their mother".