Garden spider with insect prey

Garden spider

The European garden spider with its poignant life cycle and familiar orb web is the most well known spider in the UK. Found in almost every country in the northern hemisphere, garden spiders feed on flying insects such as butterflies, wasps and flies but tend to ignore smaller prey such as greenflies. When a female has mated, her body becomes swollen with eggs. She builds a silken egg sac in which to lay the eggs and dedicates the rest of her life to protecting them. Unable to leave the eggs to hunt and feed, she dies in late autumn before her spiderlings hatch out in May of the following year.

Scientific name: Araneus diadematus

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Cross spider,
  • Diadem spider,
  • European garden spider,
  • Garden orb-web spider

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The Garden spider can be found in a number of locations including: Europe, North America, United Kingdom, Wales, Ynys-hir nature reserve. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Garden spider distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

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