Garden Spider

Garden Spider ©David Longshaw

Garden spider

Scientific name: Araneus diadematus
Our most common orb web spider, the Garden spider can be found in all kinds of habitats, including the garden. Look for a greyish-brown spider with a white cross on its back, spinning its famous spiral webs.

Species information

Statistics

Body length: 0.9-1.8cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

June to November

About

The Garden spider is the UK's most common orb web spider and is abundant in gardens, grassland and woodland - it can be found almost everywhere, in fact. It builds a 'typical' spider web (spirals with radial threads) out of sticky silk. It sits in the middle of the web, waiting to feel the vibrations of a struggling insect caught in the sticky threads. It then rushes out and wraps its prey tightly in silk. Once immobilised, it will kill its victim with a venomous bite. Adults appear from June to November and the young emerge from their silk egg-sac the following spring.

How to identify

The Garden spider is one of the more easily recognised spiders. It is usually grey-brown or reddish-brown in colour, with a large white cross (made up of pale spots and streaks) on its abdomen. Females are twice the size of males.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

Spider silk is amazingly lightweight: a strand of silk long enough to go all the way around the Earth would weigh less than 500 grams - that's the same as a bag of sugar! It's also as strong as Kevlar, the material used to make bulletproof vests.