21. Apr, 2015

Gorse Spider Web

Not far from our home for waifs and strays (very close in fact) are miles and miles of spectacular thorny evergreen gorse plants. At this time of year, the pungent smell of coconut erupts from the blaze of yellow flowers, which the gorse is widely known for. But today, as I walked by these sunny little heads, I noticed they were covered in silk like drapes. They had been invaded by the Tetranychus lintearius!

      Colonies of gorse spider mites can do more damage to the plant than any other organism. However, it does not appear to attack any other plants, thankfully!

     These tiny spiders are bright red and appear to float eerily in the silk webs which can stretch to quite some distance. However, heavy mite activity can reduce flowering and stunt the development of the branches. But all is not lost! You see, a particular species of ladybird, know as (Stethorus punctillium) is a natural predator and have the potential to severely reduce the population of the gorse spider mite. So look out!