A Mystery Spider, Pulham Market

During this past week one of Belinda's childminding children found an orange spider on the trunk of our Horse Chestnut tree. Closer inspection revealed it was clearly a female orb weaver sp - the question was - which one? I posted a picture on Twitter and got several different suggestions - Garden Orb Weaver, Marbled Orb Weaver and Four-spot Orb Weaver. It was a reply from British Spiders that really caught my eye however as they declared it wasn't typical of any UK species! They said that it would need microscopic examination or a very good photo of the epigyne on the underside to determine the species. 

Roll on a day and we found the beast again - this time guarding a 'sack' of eggs in a hole on the tree. Sadly the day after, as is natural, she died. I have now been asked to send the specimen to an expert in North Wales who will examine it in detail. Watch this space...

This week I also had another interesting garden find - a female Smooth (Common) Newt under a slab I lifted.    

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