I renewed my acquaintance with the Wasp Spider today. The hayfield will be mown soon so I cordoned off the area where it lives. As I approached it I disturbed a grasshopper which jumped straight into its web. Now that's unlucky. It was immediately set upon. They quickly immobilise their prey by wrapping it in silk. It is then bitten and injected with venom and a protein dissolving enzyme. Nice.
This spider is listed in the Cornwall Red Data Book. Rosemary Parslow tells me that they found two in a field on Scilly three years ago. It's amazing how they spread.