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Wasp Spider

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A colourful and quite unique spider found in dense, tall, grassy areas near the coast.


 

Here on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset we have extensive areas of heath land; indeed much of the remaining areas of this unique habitat are to be found here. The Dorset heath is home to a range of creatures that are quite rare elsewhere and the wasp spider (Argiope bruennichi) is one of them. Not easy to see, but not hard to find becuase wasp spiders like heather, scrub and rough pasture to build their webs which have a distinctive zig-zag pattern down the middle.  

The spider itself is a striking animal in appearance with its distinctive yellow, blue and black stripes. The female is much, much larger than the male (but then that is quite common in spiders).
 
This creature is right at the northern edge of its range here on the south coast, being more common in Europe, but it has spread and, having been quite rare 20 years ago it is now well established and quite common in this part of Dorset. I photographed this one on Hartland Moor, a National Nature Reserve just outside Wareham but I have seen them in several places where the habitat is right.

 

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Sites List Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Common Name Wasp Spider
Scientific Name Argiope bruennichi
Interest Level
3
Species Family Spiders
Preferred Environment
Look for
Additional Identification Notes