Vinny's picture

2011 - poor year for Wasp Spiders?

On 29/09/11 I visited an area of heathland close to Bournemouth which is normally very good for Wasp Spiders. I'm not sure if I was just a little late in the season but I could only find one. Normally I'd have found a couple of dozen without too much effort.

I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has noticed a similar pattern? Although the summer hasn't been great in this area I don't feel it's been so awful that it would have harmed them. I guess the cold spell in December 2010 could have affected them. The only other thing that sprang to mind was the comparative lack of dragons and damsels from midsummer onwards (some of their favourite prey).

Vinny

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bobthebirder's picture

wasp spiders

The only ones I've seen in Dorset this tear have been at a reliable site at Winfrith. Just like you I often see several here but only found one. I've not found a single one elsewhere, although I must say that I usually only see a few anyway.

Bob Ford

Vinny's picture

May have simply been too late

I've done some online research and I've found the females die not long after laying egg sacs in late summer and autumn:

http://ednieuw.home.xs4all.nl/Spiders/Araneidae/Argiope/ArgiopeBruennich...

It may be the case that the exceptional spring allowed the females to feed up and breed a little earlier this year. I've also looked back at my photo archive, and the majority of shots of this species at this site were taken between mid-August and mid-September. I walked the area again on 02/10/11 and although no spiders or webs were visible, I noted a couple of large egg sacs typical of Wasp Spiders.

Michael Skelton's picture

Wasp Spiders

I have found them to be very scarce throughout the season in Bournemouth.

debbieC's picture

I found three this year, in

I found three this year, in my garden. I had never seen one before. Have found only one egg sack.

DebbieC

andyk's picture

Shortage of wasp spiders

It has been a very poor year for wasp spiders. This year we have found only one female on a 69 Ha site!
Last year we had a 'glut' of females and gave up counting them. However, we only found a single male!

Andy Keay