Woody the yaffle was anting on the front lawn this morning while I was doing Homestead admin. He is perfectly camouflaged there at this time of the year, his red and yellow flashes look like autumn leaves. I shot him through the glass but was very disappointed with the results. :(
I went bug hunting after lunch, not much about. As I was shooting a tiny spider on a mottled leaf I spotted a pair of hairy legs. I moved a leaf and the above was revealed. I've never seen a spider like this before. I think it could be a filmy dome or hammock web spider. The colour of the abdomen is said to be quite variable. Thought I'd post a spider today to flag up that new Spider House TV programme with Professor Alice Roberts on 29th October, 9:00 pm on BBC 4.
I noticed that my spider seems to have lost one of its 'boxing gloves' or pedipalps. Male spiders use pedipalps for mating. They make some silk, put sperm onto the silk, and then put their pedipalps into the sperm. The pedipalps then hold the sperm, and the spider can use it to mate with a female by putting them inside her epigynum.
This got me thinking of that song referring to Hitler's monorchism that used to be sung by British troops in the Second World War to the tune of Colonel Bogey. The tune was played in Bridge Over The River Kwai but the lyrics were considered too lewd to be included.