A Walnut Orb-Weaver Spider (Nuctenea umbratica) retreating to its winter nest.
Sunrise: 07.11 Sunset: 05.35
The response of this Walnut Orb-Weaver Spider (Nuctenea umbratica), a spider of the Araneidae family, to my torch beam last night, was to crawl very slowly into its winter nest. This spider is very common in Hoo Wood, and seems to favour holes in rotting silver birch trees for nests.
Nuctenea umbratica is capable of biting humans, causing itchiness and a burning sensation followed by a red patch with white lumps; some people have compared their bite to an electric shock.
In the evening the spider constructs an orb-web up to 70 cm in diameter. A signaling thread leads from the web to her hiding place. After dusk she sits in the web’s center.