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Nigma walckenaeri

This family of small spiders (most are some 2 to 4 mm only) is also known as Cribellate Spiders or Mesh-webbed Spiders. Many species are attractively coloured and well marked. Even in the field identifying them is sometimes possible. In some cases down to genus level only, though. They build a small, robust web, usually on leaves and wait for their prey underneath. For animals as small as these spiders, the prey is often very big indeed. The females are exceptionally gentle with the males. After mating they often live together for a couple of weeks, until he dies. Only then she will eat him, but not always. The green species below is easily identified. The animal in the picture is a male. The female has a light green thorax. The markings on the abdomen differ clearly from those on the abdomen of other green species, such as the Cucumber Spider and Diaea dorsata, a Crab Spider. The web is usually build on big leaves. In spite of the colour rarely seen. In the Benelux area this is a common species. In England a very local species, found in London among other places.