European garden spiderlings

European garden spiderlings

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Credit: MARTYN F. CHILLMAID/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Just hatched European garden spiders (Araneus diadematus). Garden spiders lay their egg sac on strong branches, fences, garden sheds or other structures in late summer and early autumn. The young spiderlings, have bright yellow bodies with a dark brown/black triangular patch on the abdomen. After hatching from the egg cocoon in the spring and early summer the spiderlings cluster tightly (top) in the nursery web that they spin for themselves. However, at the first sign of a threat (bottom) they disperse and it may take an hour for them to return to a tight ball. This behaviour ensures that some of them survive. A few days after hatching, after their first moult, they leave the nursery web by spinning a thread of silk and 'ballooning' away in the wind to a new location where they will start spinning their own orb webs. Photographed in Worcestershire, UK.

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Keywords: animal, animal behaviour, arachnid, araneidae, araneus diadematus, arthropod, biological, biology, dispersal, egg sac, european garden spider, fauna, first instar, nature, no-one, nobody, nursery web, orb weaver spider, orb-weaver spider, spiderlings, survival strategy, uk, wildlife, worcestershire, zoological, zoology

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