Garden Spider

Garden Spider ©David Longshaw

Garden spider

Scientific name: Araneus diadematus
Have you ever stopped to look at the shape of a spider web? Garden spiders spin a spiral shaped web, perfect for catching lots of juicy prey!

Species information

Statistics

Body length: 0.9-1.8cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

June to November

About

Garden spiders are the most common orb web spider in the UK often found in gardens, giving them their name! They are greyish-brown with a white cross on their back and spin their famous spiral webs! They sit in the middle of the web waiting to feel the vibrations of a struggling insect in the sticky threads of its web. They then rush out and wrap their prey tightly in silk to stop them from moving – finishing the job with a venomous bite! This may sound scary – but they are completely harmless to humans!

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.