Cucumber Green Spider – Araniella cucurbitina sensu lato

Body length female 4-6mm, male 3.5-4mm. The female has a creamy coloured cephalothorax with a bright green abdomen and yellow stripes. The smaller male also has a bright green and yellow striped abdomen, but has an orangish cephalothorax with two brown curving stripes. Both sexes have a distinctive red spot at the end of their abdomen.There are two Cucumber Green Spiders which are quite common in Britain and look very much the same. There is this one, Araniella cucurbitina, or even this one, Araniella opisthographa. Confused? You should be, because I was. So to clarify, the species featured could be either one mentioned for they look virtually the same, and only under a microscope will you tell the difference. So thus the ‘sensu lato’ tagged on the end of the Latin name, which basically means ‘in the broad sense’, and so both species can be recorded under this tag where it is not possible to tell them apart due to their similarities.

It feeds on flying insects caught in its web. Seen summer to autumn, and found on low vegetation, bushes and trees in various habitats, including woodland edges, hedgerows and gardens. Common and widespread throughout.