The Stunning English Garden Spider: A Visual Guide - Spider Insect

The Stunning English Garden Spider: A Visual Guide

The English garden spider, also known as the cross spider or Araneus diadematus, is a member of the family Araneidae and is widespread in Europe, including the UK. With its striking markings and beautiful orb webs, it is one of the most recognizable spiders found in gardens.


The English garden spider is a large spider, with females reaching up to 20mm in length and males around 8-12mm. Although both sexes have similar patterns, females are larger with a more prominent abdomen. Its most distinctive feature is the white cross-like markings on their abdomen, hence their common name. The abdomen can also vary in color, ranging from brownish-orange to yellow or green. The legs are long and slender, often striped or banded.


These spiders can be found in gardens, hedgerows, and woodland areas. They prefer areas where there are large vertical surfaces around which to build their webs, such as fences, shrubs, or trees. The orb webs created by these spiders are a classic sight in gardens, with the spider located in the center of the web waiting for prey to be ensnared.


Like most spiders, the English garden spider is not aggressive and poses no threat to humans. They are active during the day and rest at night. Males tend to move around more than females, often looking for mates. Females usually remain stationary in their webs, which are intricately constructed using silk they produce themselves.


The araneid spiders are known for their ability to produce orb webs, and the English garden spider is no exception. Their webs are circular and silky, often created between two horizontal planes, with the spider waiting in the center to feel for prey. These spiders are not picky eaters and will feed on anything that gets caught in their webs, from small flies to grasshoppers. After capturing prey, the spider envelops them in a silk cocoon and feeds on them later.


Male English garden spiders are known to be adventurous during their mating season, navigating webs of different females in search of a mate. The males are known for tapping on the webs, which alerts the females of their presence. The female usually responds, and if she is receptive to the male’s advances, they will mate. After mating, the female will lay her eggs in a silk sac and will protect them until they hatch.


The English garden spider is a remarkable and impressive creature. With their unique markings and their intricate webs, they are a common sight in many gardens. Although they can be startling to some people, they are harmless to humans and are an essential part of nature. Therefore, getting to know this fascinating spider is well worth the effort.

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