British Wildlife Wiki


Nursery Web ~

he Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis) is a spider species of the family Pisauridae.

Males of this species offer food gifts to potential female mates. Some Pisaura mirabilis have also been observed to feign death, remaining still while holding the food gift in their mouths. When the female approaches and tries to take the food away, the male springs back to life and attempts to mate. The strategy of playing dead more than doubles a male's odds of successfully achieving copulation, from 40% to 89%. This is an example of a behavior originally evolved to ward off predators being adapted to a new purpose.


The male is between 10–13 mm, while the female is 12–15 mm.