We welcome contributions from anyone with an interest in wildlife. Our aim is that the blog will be used for sharing sightings, photographs, events, and any other aspects of natural history interest in the East Glamorgan area of Vice County 41. This covers Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Merthyr Tydfil, Vale of Glamorgan, Cardiff and the western part of Caerphilly.
Southern Marsh Orchids
Wednesday, 18 September 2013
It is a good time of year to look for spiders and I spotted this one, Araneus quadratus, feeding on a cranefly in grassland on the capped asbsetos waste tip on Rhoose Point. While colour is variable it is a distinctive species; the 4 large white spots on its abdomen are diagnostic. It is one of the comparatively few of the 650 British spiders that can be identified without resorting to a hand lens or a stereo microscope.
The Spider Recording Scheme reports that it is widespread but patchily distributed throughout Britain. It is thought to be declining, probably because of habitat loss as it requires undisturbed vegetation with sufficient height and strength to support its large webs. It is also Britains heaviest spider, and this female specimen's abdomen was an impressive 14mm in diameter.
It seems to be relatively scarce (or at least under-recorded) in Glamorgan: