Candy stripes

This little spider caught my eye this evening as it scurried across the path in my back garden. My camera was at hand so I took a few pictures (it was late so I had to use a high ISO, hence the poor definition of the image). The spider is Enoplognatha ovata – the common Candy Striped spider. As you can see, this one doesn’t actually have candy stripes. The spider can come in several forms, including the one above.

I logged it with the National Biodiversity Data Centre database, and my record is only the fourth one this year, and the first in Galway. In fact, mine is the only record in the last 20 years for Galway (the database shows only 14 sightings on the entire island in that time). Now, I doubt my garden is the only source of these little insects in Galway, but I’m clearly the only one recording them in the database (is anyone studing spiders across the road in NUIG ?).

The saying An rud is annamh is iontach comes to mind – what is seldom is wonderful, and these spiders are certainly a wonder , even if not as rare as the records imply (the UK NAtional Diversity Database has more sightings in Northern Ireland than the Irish National Biodiversity database, so I suspect it is under-reported across the island). So, if you see a little critter in your garden, log it to the database – you might be the only one doing so.