A cracking, bright little green Spider that I've seen many times within the M25 but has not yet been recorded in Norfolk - until now.
I'd been asked previously by Pip Colyer (Norfolk county Arachnid recorder) to keep an eye out for N.walckenaeri as he suspected it wouldn't be long before it arrives in the county and that was about 18months ago. The species favours Ivy and has a web which is rather distinctive, in that it covers a single leaf, pulling the edges in slightly until taut, leaving a small canopy for the Spider to hide under.
|A rather distinctive web once you know what to look for:|
Funnily enough, there's also a well established Ivy growing close by, but Jasmin was obviously the first choice!
It was home to a healthy looking female who was busy feeding on an unsuspecting Hoverfly that had got just that bit too close. The size difference of predator to prey is obvious and you just have to take your hat off to the strength of this girl to overpower such a meal:
With Pip's request (fairly) fresh in mind, I dropped him a line with the news and quietly hoped I hadn't been beaten to it! Needless to say, he was happy with the news (as was I!) and it is in fact the first formal record of the species for Norfolk.
I must add though, that Pip said he'd been sent a single photo of one at some point, which had been lost without any details so technically, someone may have beaten me to it but this is the first official. The first dot on the county map. Chuffed!
I went back today, armed with camera to get a couple more pics:
Summary/distribution for Nigma walckenaeri - HERE
So keep your eyes open people - you never know what you're going to stumble upon!