Wasps – addendum..

It seems that social wasps, vicious and armed-to-the-teeth as they may be, are not entirely without predators. I was driving out of the garage yesterday when something caught my eye. Not as large as even a small bird, but big enough to be seen at a distance of three metres or so, it turned out to be a spider running out from it’s lair in a pile of bricks on the driveway to grab something that had disturbed its web. Something black and yellow. I stopped the car and got out for a closer look. The spider held the wasp while it injected it with venom, and secured it in the web, then retreated to wait for the poison to take effect.

I was suitably impressed. This is what people call a house spider – probably because they like to live in your house. These are the large spiders that will run across your living room floor of an evening while you’re watching TV. The British Arachnological Society say they rarely bite, and when they do, it’s painless. For humans perhaps, but not, I suspect, for this wasp!

Some people are nervous of spiders. I can see why they might be spooked by the appearance of arachnids such as this one. Personally I find them fascinating, and now I’ve got used to the way they look, almost cute. Well, maybe not cute – cool, perhaps. There are many varieties of spiders, all of which are useful garden friends. They predate insects, many of which are garden pests, are food for birds, and do no harm to plants. Add to that their webs, which are fascinating, and can be very beautiful, particularly when covered in droplets of rain, dew, or even frost, and backlit by the low sun, and you can see why I’m so happy to see these lovable little creatures in my garden…

text & photo © graham wright 2023