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.
StatisticsBody length: 0.9-1.8cm
When to seeJune to November
AboutThe 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 identifyThe 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.
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.
How people can help
Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National nature reserves put together.