The Nursery Web Spider is a spider species of the family Pisauridae.
It grows to about 15mm and they are active hunters that search for prey amongst grasses and low vegetation.
Males of this species offer a nuptial gift to potential female mates. Some have also been observed to use thanatosis (feign death) during courtship. After presenting the nuptial gift to the female, she bites on the gift and the male moves to her epigyne to deposit sperm with his pedipalps.
Throughout copulation the male keeps a leg on the gift so as to be ready if she tries to escape with it or attack him.
Thanatosis in Pisaura mirabilis has been observed to significantly increase the male’s odds of successfully copulating.
The female carries her large eggs sac beneath her body, held in the jaws. Prior to the spiderlings hatching, she fixes it to some plants and spins a silken tent around it and then stands guard.
As only one species of this genus is present in northern Europe, this spider is unmistakable.