Spider – Wasp Spider (Argiope bruennichi)

Wasp Spider

Key facts

Wasp spiders live on the south coast of Britain. They have been recorded as far north as Cambridge.

They live in long grass and low vegetation. Because the egg sac is made on grass leaves, this spider can only become established where grass is not regularly cut. But this spider does occasionally turn up in barley fields.

Wasp spiders build an orb web with a vertical zigzag pattern of silk in it called a stabilimentum. The purpose of the stabilimentum is unclear but it is thought that it helps attract insects.  Some of the silk of this spider is slightly yellow in colour

IDENTIFICATION

Female wasp spiders are 11-15mm and males are 4-4.5mm.

The females are distinctively marked with a silvery thorax and black, yellow and white striped abdomen. The males are pale brown and much smaller than the female.