Even though I have spent my life being cowardly of spiders, I have to grudgingly admire this Wasp Spider that we found low in the grasses today. She is magnificent:
This is quite a large spider, about 3cm across, and she had caught something and wrapped it up in silk. Primarily they are trying to catch grasshoppers but perhaps her catch today is too small to be that. Here is a photo of her from the other side of the web which more clearly shows her catch:
I just hope that her catch is not her mate because I’m afraid they do often eat them. The males are very small in comparison to the females:
We didn’t see the male spider today (…perhaps that actually is him wrapped up in the silk) but apparently males can often be seen waiting at the edges of the web until the female sheds her skin. Her jaws will be soft after this for a while and he has a little window of opportunity to mate with her then and live to tell the tale.