The female nursery web spider (Pisaura mirabilis) is a remarkable and rather formidable lady! She has a fondness for eating her mate so the male of the species apparently brings her a snack to eat and whilst she tucks in to it he takes his chance ... she lays the resulting eggs in a sac which she then carries under her body; it is not attached by threads or other aids, she carries it by grip alone. When the spiderlings are about to emerge she attaches the sac to low vegetation and then weaves a tent around it to protect her young. She then stands guard over it and that is where the common name of the nursery web spider originates.
This is the only British member of the genera Pisaura but it is closely related to the equally formidable raft spider. It inhabits low vegetation, often brambles, in grassland, heathland and woodland habitats. It is a common and widespread species during the British summer months. They are certainly overlooked and yet they often wait on the lower leaves of shrubs waiting for prey to pass by, they are ferocious hunters. Like many species of spider they can be very variable in colour and markings.