Monday, October 19, 2009

Garden Orb Weaver Spider

Garden Orb Weaver - Dark Shade Garden Orb Weaver - Light Shade
We sure have some fat Araneus diadematus hanging around Travelmarx headquarters these days. The common name for this spider is the European garden spider or cross orb-weaver. They are plumping up and getting ready to leave behind an egg sac for the next season. The spiders photographed will most likely die as they live typically one season. The two spiders shown here show some of the color variation the garden orb-weaver is known for. These are both females due to the presence of an epigynum on their undersides. (I'm guessing that the males of this species must make a web in order to catch food?)

These spiders hang head down in their webs waiting for prey. These and other spiders start their webs using a technique called “kiting” where a thread of silk is left to blow in the wind until it contacts an object like a branch.

Some other tidbits about the European garden spiders.  The specific epithet (diadematus) means crowned; wearing a diadem; adorned. And, this spider has had it's own movie, a short documentary called Epeira diadema (1952) by Italian director Alberto Ancilotto (1903 - 1971). Here's a short biography in Italian.

For more pictures of A. diadematus and other spiders in this genus, see European orb-weavers at Spiders of NW-Europe.

(Note: For quite some time, I mis-identified this as Eriophora transmarina until a reader corrected me.)

Thank you diadematus for your service this year and hope to see your young ones next year.

Update: 2010’s Spider

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for putting this up! I have a spider I couldn't identify that I found on my front porch and put in a jar. I got an awesome pic of it too! These are great shots! super helpful. Now I know what it is! I'll be releasing it tomorrow.

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  2. Hi, these are actually araneus diadematous or the diadem spider, common in europe and the UK. They are lovely though ;-)

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  3. Many, many thanks! I should have been more careful. I updated the post.

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