Quite a lot of stuff around today, but I will start with this little slide show. It includes a Larinioides cornutus, curled up on a nettle leaf; amongst the other spiders I found today were tons of these half-grown nursery web spiders Pisaura mirabilis. The young ones have a bit of a habit of scrunching their long legs up into uncomfortable-looking poses, but they still move rapidly enough if you get too close. The little wolf spiders are similar, in that they bask in full open sunshine, but if you get too close, they clear off with impressive rapidity. Wolf spiders do not spin webs to catch prey; they are ground hunters, and therefore remarkably quick
There are also hundreds of these dock bugs around at the moment, seen here inhabiting nettles and – er – dock. They are a kind of squash bug.
Which brings us on to ladybirds. I usually rack up several species every year, so we might as well start – here we have the 24-spot, quite a small species, but unfortunately this one was strolling along quite fast, hence the blurry photo.
Below, we have the classic 7-spot.
And then finally, we have this tiny, 2-3 mm beetle, that was moving even faster than the 24-spot and is correspondingly even more blurred. I don’t know if this qualifies as a ladybird; I’m hoping the Ladybird Survey will be able to shed some light on it.