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Photo of spider web

This image was taken in a field of rye grown in the crops research centre, Oak Park, Carlow. Green orb-weavers are a common native species in Ireland and the UK. Their webs snare insect prey and can trap pollen and fungal spores. Despite their almost fluorescent colour, they can remain camouflaged among vegetation.

When recycling their orb webs, the spiders also feed on adhering pollen grains or fungal spores via extra oral digestion. They are extremely beneficial as a natural bio-control in crops.

This photo was the overall winner of Teagasc’s 2022 “Vision of Research and Innovation” photo competition, for which staff and students submit images created in the course of their work.

Photo and description by: Fiona Hutton

Teagasc project: BioCrop