Shelob on my greenhouse
I found this whopping spider under the eaves of my greenhouse this evening. It was preparing to discard the sucked-dry carcass of a tipulid crane-fly. The spider's abdomen was about the size of a raisin. From other photos, I could see palps that identified the spider as female, so I wonder if she is full of eggs. I went out later to take a better look with a torch when she had descended further out onto her web, and I think she might be an Araneus spider, maybe A. diadematus, the cross spider or diadem spider. I blipped about this species before, when I was in London for the Olympics. I appreciate that maybe this image isn't a good one for arachnaphobes, but I love the intricate mechanics of the spider body! If you don't understand my reference to Shelob, read Lord of the Rings or see the films!