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Young Attenboroughs at large

August 7, 2020

Last weekend the Yea River Landcare group had its first official ‘Not National Tree Day’ planting event, held coincidentally on the day National Tree Day was supposed to be held. In line with the restrictions the planting was broken up into an AM group and a PM group, social distancing was maintained and some people wore masks (not mandatory at the time). Not the social occasion we have been used to in the past! Part of our group were two youngsters Griff and Nellie who initially were deployed transporting tree guards, stakes and plants to the required locations, but when that was done swiftly started searching the bush to see what they could find… Attenboroughs of the future.

Their discovery of the day would have to be a Wolf Spider (pictured above) which had obviously been displaced by the planting activity and was trying to carry its egg sac to a safer place. Spiders lay their eggs in a woven sac of silk. For many spiders the sac is fixed either within the web or on vegetation, for example under bark. Wolf Spiders do not build webs. They are ambush hunters and can also chase and catch prey. Wolf Spiders are unique in that they carry their egg sac with them. The sac is attached by a line of silk (see photo) to the spinnerets on the abdomen. When walking the spider has to raise its abdomen so that the sac does not drag on the ground. After hatching, the young spiders spend several weeks clinging to the adult spider’s back…I should get the Young Attenboroughs to find that for me.

The bush exploration also turned up a collection of grubs and other interesting things such as the sucked out shell of a much smaller Wolf Spider. Oh to have young eyesight again!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Terry permalink
    August 7, 2020 3:47 pm

    always like to see your offerings Ron. T

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