This Blog covers nature sightings and related news in the Calderdale area.
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Saturday, 13 July 2019

Nurseryweb spider

Pisaura mirabilis guarding her young today on waste ground in Boothtown. The female carries a silken egg-sac around under her body until the young are nearly ready to emerge, then spins a tent-like nursery in which she sits. When the dozens of young hatch she guards them from the outside of the nursery for a few days until they are ready to make their way in the world.

Notice she has lost a leg in her adventures, probably a fairly recent injury because it has not begun to regenerate. Spiders are able to grow back lost limbs a little at a time with each successive skin moult. A spider this size would moult several times in her life.

With a body of length 12-15mm this is a large and unmistakable spider (the clover flower behind her gives a sense of scale) and the only British species of the genus Pisaura, common in the midlands and the south but with a patchy distribution in the north. Over the moon to find this spectacular beast so close to home!


  1. Never new spiders could grow new limbs! Keep your wonderful photos coming Julian. The second photo is fantastic.