Spider (Tetragnatha extensa)

With apologies to all you arachnophobes out there here is today's wonder of the world; a spider with no common name, Tetragnatha extensa. The name 'extensa' hints at the incredible shape of this creature.

At first sight you could be forgiven for not even realising it was anything living at all! Although quite large, about 1.5" from tip of its feet to its rear end it is quite had to find as it is so thin and has colouring that makes it 'disappear' in to its background.

This is a spider that likes grassland and low vegetation, especially close to water and boggy habitats. I have seen them motionless on reed stems almost impossible to distinguish as a spider. I have also seen them in curled up nettle leaves where they can be virtually hidden but I was lucky enough to find this one doing some house work on its web and so it was out in the open.

Its shape makes it perfectly adapted for its environment; very difficult for predators to find and very difficult for its prey to spot before it is too late! A fantastic creature.

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