After inspecting the peas today, I found a luminous green, plump little spider sitting on me. I put it onto the nearby sage herb, where i though it would be camouflaged, as it was a similar fresh green with a silver-blue glow. After some coaxing, it eventually decided to leave my hand and I went inside to get a camera. As it had been moving pretty quickly, i thought it would have disappeared by the time i got back, but it was still sitting on the underside of the leaf.
I took some pictures, and then watched as it began spinning a very fine web – fantastic! It was about half a centimetre long with orangey yellow legs and a flattened pea shaped fluorescent green body.
The spider is probably a female Araniella cucurbitina – a common native species found throughout the UK. It may also be A. opistographa – they are identical without a microscope. Found between April-October, and despite such bright colouring, they are rarely seen as they camouflage so well in the low bushes and hedgerows they favour. They eat flies and small insects. They are identifiable by the red patch above the spinnarets (see photo above) and weave tiny messy webs.
Identification images- eakringbirds – interesting natural history resource about Nottinghamshire invertebrates.
Species recording details at British Spiders
Macro images Eurospiders