Pisaura mirabilis  (Clerck, 1775)
Taxonomical Classification:  Animalia / Arthropoda / Arachnida / Araneae / Pisauridae
Nursery Web Spider     Maltese name not known
Further Information:
Females can reach 15mm; males are slightly smaller. This spider hunts small insects in a variety of habitats; the spider chases its prey and does not construct a web for feeding purposes. Their colour is quite variable, they are usually grey or brown.

Males offer prey items as nuptial gifts to potential female mates during courtship. Though it was thought that this gift is offered to avoid sexual cannabilsm, the behaviour is most likely used as an indication of male mating effort, enticing the female to copulate.

After mating, females hold their eggs in a sac beneath their body, held by their chelicerae. Prior to the spiderlings hatching she fixes it to some plants and spins a silken tent around it and then stands guard. She guards the eggs and spiderlings, giving rise to the English name of Nursery Web Spider.

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