Tuesday, October 20, 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). 

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 misidentified this as Eriophora transmarina until an astute reader corrected me.)

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

Update: 2010’s Spider


  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.

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

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

  4. Replies
    1. Sarrah, these spiders are poisonous but only to the bugs they catch and eat.

  5. I was wondering what kind of spider I had at our back door. They are pretty big. I have some photos of it at the end of Aug. and beginning of Sept. and a video of it spinning its web. I am on the west side of Cleveland, Ohio. I wasn't sure if they come to this part of the United States.

  6. Ive had to remove about 6 of these spiders off and near my mom's porch bc humming birds can't get loose from their thick webs... The humming birds that had to be removed by hand don't want to come back to the feeder. Idk if these spiders would do anything to a bird since all birds were removed quickly after getting caught.... Just aggravating for the summer months....

  7. I have recently found a couple of these spiders at the back of our property. The fascinating thing for me is that they have each built themselves a rain shelter from leaves. They sit inside it, with their legs pointing down and will dart out when disturbed. Then climb back up the web and tuck themselves back into the shelter. Amazing!


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