A mystery photo today.
To find out what this strange soil covered structure is click below.
This root like tube, covered in small soil particles is the aerial portion of the web of the purse-web spider, Atypus affinis. The spider itself sits in a deep silk lined burrow under the ground. The photo was taken at White Rock Gardens where there is a colony of this nationally scarce spider.
The spider itself is the only native mygalomorph (tarantula type) species to be found in Britain. The spiders are harmless and only prey on ants and woodlice that walk onto the aerial part of the web and are quickly pulled through the silk tube into the burrow.