One I photographed earlier
I've noticed a lot of wolf spiders about lately, mainly because the sun has finally come out these last few weeks and wolf spiders like it. On any warm sunny day, if you look closely at exposed walls, low lying plants or bare ground, you're bound to notice a few of these creatures, just basking. They come in various sizes and colours but as far as I'm aware they all have the same distinctively pointed abdomen and a blunt sort of head with quite obvious fangs. They also tend to sit around (you know what I mean) for a long time in the same pose - with their rather downy-looking front legs close together pointing forwards.
There are two things I especially like about wolf spiders. Firstly, as part of the mating ritual, the males offer their intended females a gift. It comes in the form of a ready meal – a dead fly (wrapped, of course, in the finest silk). It's not exactly altruistic; not only does he do it to get his legs over, but also because without this dinner it's quite likely he may end up being eaten himself. This way he can just get on with mating with her while she tucks in to her main course. I consider myself very
The other thing about wolf spiders concerns the female who takes great care of her egg sac and carries it around with her. A practical reason for this is that wolf spiders don't weave webs, so have nowhere to leave them as they are always on the move, hunting down their prey with stealth (and venom). Anyway, she carefully carries this cumbersome sac beneath her, raised up slightly from the ground so as not to cause damage, and then when the eggs hatch after about 7 to 10 days... oh, this is the bit I love... for the next week or so she carries her tiny babies* around on her back. Wolf spiders – many species of which are common around the world – are the only ones that do this. Sweet, eh? Well... I'm smitten. And it's funny how when you're interested in something you can effortlessly store all this useless information, yet still struggle with your nine times table.
Good song, tenuous connection