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Talkback: Wasps and spiders

On Sunday I threw a vine weevil into a harvestman web. Thinking it would escape (following your blog from eons ago), I watched as the spider pounced and wrapped its prey in a thick silken cocoon. There was a slight struggle, then the weevil appeared to give up. An hour later the spider unwrapped its lunch and tucked in.

K x


  • Kate, I'm guessing you mean the daddy-long-legs spider, Pholcus phalangioides, since harvestmen do not make webs. Pholcus is renowned for its aggressive behaviour, its long powerful fangs and its supposedly very toxic venom. It regularly attacks and eats other spiders, often those much bigger than itself. Despite the vine weevil's tough carapace, it does not surprise me that Pholcus should make short work of it.
  • This is the time for spiders to be in evidence in the gardener's world. My friends are forever picking them off my sweatshirt. I am fascinated by them and they seem to like me too.
  • Garden spiders fine, beautiful and I can cope with - but large spotted house spiders that are now appearing YUK. I get my hubby to remove them with glass and paper. If I do it they either end up dead or with fewer legs.
  • I watched a Pholcus phalangioides feeding on a wolf spider at least 4 times its size!

    I wouldn't have thought a web would've stopped a wolf spider that big. It's legs exceeded the palm of my hand and I have big hands.
  • I'm just in the porcess of building a raised bed for my vegetable gardening exploits and I agree its real tooth and claw stuff out there at the moment. The female garden spiders seem to get bigger each year!
  • Hi, I found a lovely fat orange coloured spider in my garden, definately had a web. It almost looked like a hunch back, about the size of a penny. Its so different from the other big stripy (tiger)Spiders that pervade the Dahlias. Has anyone got any ideas of what it could be, or a good web site for me to look it up?
  • These truly are magnificent creatures,although both myself,and our Daughter are scared stiff of them,I am at the moment allows one to share our kitchen window with us. We have watched it grow in size from a tiny little thing,to something that, if it decided to leave the window and start walking on the ceiling,then I am sure they will hear my scream in the arctic!They also look beautiful when seen through the lens of a magnifying glass!!
  • Reply to Thomasina
    Not sure what your spiders are, but the garden spider, Araneus diadematus does vary greatly in colour from white and grey, through brown to orange and yellow. Related A. quadratus too. If you google images of them, you get thousands of different colour-ways.
  • Oh yes! Thank you Richard. I have been calling them harvestmen for years.

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