Tuesday, 5 August 2008

A labyrinthine web ...

We came across this funnel web in a crevice under a bank in the grounds of Dinefwr Castle in Llandeilo, South Wales, last weekend. Thanks to a photograph on www.glaucus.org, I have made a stab at identification. It seems to be the Agelena labyrinthica spider. The picture of the spider on the 6 July 2004 glaucus post is not for the faint hearted! I am grateful to members of the British Marine Life Study Society, who seem to run the glaucus website.

There is a little serendipity at work here, if you focus on THE labyrinth (i.e. home of the Minotaur on Crete), since I posted another piece with Cretan overtones - The Island of Spinalonga - earlier today!

The uksafari.com site points out that the funnel leads to the network of tunnels which account for the name. I began thinking about spiders in literature: they feature in nursery rhymes ('Incy wincy spider', 'Come into my parlour' etc.); and Charlotte, of course, is one of the key characters in 'Charlotte's Web'.

Other spider sites
Other sites about Dinefwr
Northumberland: Chillingham Castle breed of ancient white cattle

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