I never thought I’d say this, but I’ve fallen in love with a spider. And coming from a lifelong arachnophobe that’s quite a claim. Whereas every other spider species sends me screaming in utter terror, the Wasp Spider has melted my heart. They are gorgeous. I met one on the South Downs last weekend and, hypnotised by her beauty, I spent hours with her, lying in the grass, staring lovingly into her eight eyes.
Wasp Spiders’ rotund abdomens are delicately patterned with exotic black, yellow and white stripes. Every spider looks subtly different – as if each has been individually hand painted. Their eight legs wear stripy black and white stockings – the sort favoured by the Wicked Witch of the East. This stripy, waspish appearance has given the spider its name and is used as a defence mechanism to ward off predators who equate this colouration with being stung... [read more]
Illustration by Mark Greco