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[All pictures of garden wildlife on this page are thumbnails. Click on any thumbnail for a large format to be displayed.]

European Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus)


The Common European Garden Spider is a beautiful and rather mysterioulsy coloured spider with marks on both sides. All depicted animals are females.

Outmost left the male and then three females of Europe's most famous spider.

To the left an adult female eating one of the wires: spiders do recycle their webs! To the right a group of newly hatched youngsters. The mother puts the eggs in a small cocon, which looks more like a little web actually. After hatching the young stay together for a short time in a small web they produce themselves. When attacked by a predator, e.g. a bird, they run away quickly in all directions, leaving the predator behind in a confused state of mind.

The young to the right do not look like their parents at all!

The Garden Spider is quite variable, just like many other orb-web spiders. Usually however the cross-like markings are quite visible. Sometimes however the cross seems to be absent. Especially near the end of the season animals appear to have lost the cross. Such animals then do look like related species, such as Araneus quadratus. To be sure about the species one has to look at the epigyne (the female sexual organ). Luckily this is usually quite visible in orb-web spiders. Below an odd coloured Garden Spider, not showing much of a cross anymore.

This reddish brown Garden Spider looks a lot like similar other species of orb-web spiders.

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