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The weirdest thing I found when I was out square-bashing last week was this sputnik-shaped thing, stuck to the underside of an oak leaf. It was incredibly tiny, about 2mm across, and I had no idea what it might be.

170706 Paidiscura pallens egg sac (3)

Luckily, I belong to some really excellent wildlife groups on Facebook and, when I posted a photo on the Insects of Britain and Northern Europe page, I got an answer almost immediately. This is the egg sac of the spider Paidiscura pallens. At just 1.5mm, the spider is even smaller than its egg sac and, because of its tiny size, is rarely even noticed.

170706 Paidiscura pallens (1)

So, the next time I was out for a wander I decided to check the undersides of more leaves – they prefer stiff leaves, like oak, sycamore and holly – to see if I could find any others. And bingo, I quite quickly spotted three more egg sacs and their creators, sitting not far away on the leaves. So, next time you’re out for a walk, take a look under some leaves. You never know what you might find.

170706 Paidiscura pallens (2)

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