Cucumber Green Spider

This green spider (Araniella cucurbitina) is seen from April to October and is around 4mm-6mm long. It is usually found hanging out on low growing bushes and hedgerows and eats flies and other small insects. They are native to the UK and, while they look mostly green all over, there is a small red spot above their web spinners on their tail.

(Please click on image to enlarge (if you dare))

Having never seen one of these before I just had to go back indoors to fetch the macro lens, though I wasn’t able to get very clear shots of the spider itself as the darn lens kept focusing on the leaf, even on manual focus!

Actually the leaf (Pineapple sage in case you were wondering) is also very interesting close up. Who knew that it had all those hairs on the edge and the tiny red raised ‘spots’.

I don’t like spiders, but this is a very tiny one and somehow when I have the camera in front of me I forget that I don’t like them as they simply become something fascinating to try and capture an image of. Having said that I am NOT going to get this close to the Giant House Spider (Eratigena Atrica) that live in my shed and cover everything with a thick sticky sheet web.

If only I could get spiders to eat the slugs and snails I’d be on to a winner!

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43 Comments Add yours

  1. He is a cutie. I’m guessing that big red spot is to scare off hungry predators.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Could be. I am no spider expert and I don’t intend to become one!

  2. Lucid Gypsy says:

    What a funny little thing, it’s body looks too big for it’s legs!

    1. Heyjude says:

      It’s so tiny Gilly, I’m sure those legs are just fine 🙂

  3. Good for you for going back inside to get your macro lens. It’s always gratifying when a close-up lens reveals features we would otherwise have missed.

    The species name cucurbitina implies that this spider hangs out on plants in the Cucurbitaceae, or gourd family. Maybe that’s why the first commenter mentioned zucchini (courgette), which is a variety of Cucurbita pepo. It’s interesting that Americans use an Italian word, and you a French word, for the vegetable.

    1. Heyjude says:

      And at the end of the day they are simply baby marrows!
      I find aubergine has many names too – eggplant in US and Australia, brinjal in South Africa. Separated by a common language!!

      1. I’d never heard of brinjal but it looked suspiciously like berenjena, the Spanish word for eggplant, so I investigated. Sure enough, brinjal, berenjena, and French aubergine all trace back to the Arabic word for eggplant. Arabic got the word from Persian, which got it from an Indian source. During that research I learned that South African brinjal came from the Portuguese form of the word, berinjela. I’d also never heard of the British use of marrow for a kind of squash.

        If a spider was ever involved in all this, it has long since crawled away.

        1. Heyjude says:

          Love the way words take us on a journey! I now feel as though I have had a world trip 🙂

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