An autumnal highlight – The Garden Spider

Araneus diadematus

Araneus diadematus – 24 August

For me, a highlight of late Summer and early Autumn is the proliferation of the Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus). It’s a beautiful spider that creates wonderful orb webs, and always worth close study.This particular individual is presenting itself for close study on a daily basis, as it has created a web on the outside of the kitchen window. That means even an arachnophobe could have a close look and feel safe.

Not that there’s anything for a human to fear, they are not aggressive and, barring an allergic reaction, the bite is harmless. Not so much to flies though, and not to males seeking to mate when she isn’t in the mood.

A couple of nights ago she was repeatedly approached by a smaller male. He carefully plucked the supporting threads of the web until she came over, but her response was aggressive rather than responsive. Fortunately, he fled.

20160904_132313

Same spider, one week later. Reflection of my hands accidental!

Her abdomen (the bigger bit at the back) is swelling rapidly though, so she probably is going to lay eggs soon. After which she will die.


It’s been quite rightly pointed out that ‘Garden Spider’ is quite a mundane name. It’s also known as the Crowned Orb Weaver, Cross Spider, and Diadem Spider. But if you have better ideas, feel free to add them in the comments.

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I welcome thoughts, comments and questions, so please feel free to share anything at all. Thanks, David

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