dejayM's picture

About behaviour

Observed: 12th November 2012 By: dejayM
Biological Recording In ScotlandHighland Biological Recording GroupOrkney Biodiversity Records Centre
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SnailSpider scale
SnailSpider 2
SnailSpider 4

Here we have a Pelucid Glass Snail (Vitrina pellucida) and an unidentified spider.
I watched as the spider appeared to be mollesting the snail.
The snail appeared to be stressed, the spider overly 'familiar'.
The spider produced a small net - seen; the Snail produced slime and bubbles, not seen.
There was no outcome. I had disturbed this process by turning over the stone. The spider lost interest after 15 minutes.
This post then is to do with behaviour not ID, though if anyone is up for the spider....
I'd like comment please.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


mattprince1969's picture

I wonder..

If she was looking for somewhere to deposit her eggs.

She's obviously gravid, and this isn't a normal place for a metellina to build her orb web.

The typical place for building a web for laying an egg is on the twigs etc of the more usual low shrubs these spiders are typically found in.

They are how ever very common and turn up in odd places from time to time, tt could be that this was a more unusual place she was looking to lay in.

dejayM's picture


That's interesting Matt thanks.
I was wondering if the snail was grazing the 'maternity or brooding web' - if there is such an expression.

dejayM's picture


Alan, thanks. I agree
Could it then be Metellina mengei?
It is underrecorded in Orkney (via NBN) but I have seen many of these at this particular (unreported) site.

Alan Thornhill's picture

Your Metellina

is either mengei or segmentata. The latter is more prevalent in November though, having said that, I did find adults of both species recently (November). I see both are recorded in the Orkneys.

dejayM's picture

segmentata then

Alan - thanks again
I think it is segmentata. But they are difficult to separate.
Put a pic up for you.
"...males of M. segmentata have hairs on the underside of the first leg and M. mengei have none...." shame it's not a male then!
In this wood it comes in a few shades erring to pink on lichenized trees.
Goodness, this one even looks lichenized!

Alan Thornhill's picture

Very variable

Both mengei and segmentata are very variable, in colour and the extent of the markings on the abdomen. I think Metellina's as far as you can take it.