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UK Nature > Spiders > Pisaura mirabilis
Scientific Name: Pisaura mirabilis
Common Name: Nursery Web Spider
Pisaura mirabilis, or the Nursery Web Spider, is a member of the family Pisauridae. They resemble wolf spiders (family Lycosidae), but they carry their egg sacs by means of their jaws and pedipalps (instead of attaching them to their spinnerets). When the eggs are about to hatch, a mother spider will build a nursery "tent," put her egg sac inside, and mount guard outside.
Unlike the wolf spiders, which have two very prominent eyes in addition to the other six, the eyes of the nursery web spiders are more or less the same size. Many species are able to walk on the surface of still bodies of water, and may even dive beneath the surface for a time to escape enemies. In escaping predators, they may very well jump a distance of five or six inches.
The female spider will sometimes attempt to eat the male after mating; the male, to reduce the risk, will often present her with a gift such as a fly when approaching in the hope that this will satisfy her hunger and protect him from harm.
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