Wiltshire spider distribution maps
Argiope bruennichi Male and female Argiope bruennichi. Click for larger image.
Female Argiope bruennichi. Click for larger image.
Nationally; Scarce, notable a. First recorded in Britain in 1922 at Rye, East Sussex. Apparently increasing its range since the 1970s, it is now distributed along the south coast and the south-east, and has records as far north as Derbyshire.

First report in Wiltshire: Piers Mobsby first noted this spider on Coombe Bissett Down in September 1999.

Argiope bruennichi is found in long grass where it builds its web at ground level. A major component of its prey appears to be orthoptera. Eggs are laid in the autumn and protected by a large cocoon which resembles the fruit capsule of "Love-in-a-mist" (Nigella damascena). The eggs or young over-winter in the cocoon, to disperse in the spring. It is likely that this spider is now more widespread and under-recorded in the south of the county.

World distribution:

World data provided by John Murphy.

Published by M C Askins