In The Ranger’s back garden today, the season’s crop of spiderlings have hatched and are soaking up the sun:
These tiny creatures, probably Araneus diadematus, with a body size of no more than 1mm, cluster together on the threads they weave for a few days after hatching before they go their own separate ways.
Look more closely – like most baby animals they have a certain cuteness!
But one characteristic of this little ball of siblings is that the group will very quickly scatter if any disturbance occurs. This is a protective mechanism to try to confuse a pecking bird or similar predator. To demonstrate this, The Ranger recruited his companion the Cat to wield a handy stick: