Furry things with four legs like wolves and bears get a lot more coverage in Abruzzo than this recent I Spy with my little eye a Wasp Spider, also known as an Andrews Cross Spider whilst out blackberry-ing.
To be honest I had no idea what this was when I viewed her, being quite the opposite to a passionate entomologist, but her skeletal face and furry striped body was interesting enough to make me want to find out more.
Wasp Spiders or Andrew Cross Spiders as they are known down-under, are named after the blue hollow silky cross that they weave and rest upon. It is thought that this cross acts as a deterrent to birds and other predators, the idea of washing off that after a meal is hardly something you’d want to do after feeling full up. They also shake this when feeling threatened so that all becomes a blur and more difficult to take a bite out of.
Dinner for the Wasp Spider includes flies, moths, butterflies, bugs and bees. They are wrapped into a neat little parcel before being they are given a toxic deadly bite by the spider. Apparently their bite is very low in the toxic states and doesn’t usually harm humans or dogs!
Sizewise, if it is over 10mm it is female, anything 3-4mm is male.