Sunday 27 March 2011: Nursery spider and nursery
Was going to put up the nursery of the spider, but then found one that the nursery spider was actually on. It was raining so the spider had water droplets on it. Not sure what the spider was doing - protecting the case, making it, or laying eggs in it!
Nursery spiders are nocturnal so it's very unusual to see one out in the middle of the day - it was a wet dark day so perhaps that's why.
They spin the egg case at the tip of a plant like gorse, broom reeds etc, and as the plant grows it stretches and eventually breaks the nursery open and the young spiderlings escape.
The female nursery web carries a large white egg sac around with her before she makes the nursery to put it in before the spiderlings hatch. The web is not used to catch prey.
The females are up to 6 cm across the legs, males are a little smaller.
They are found all over New Zealand.water, droplet,