Family Araneidae (Orbweb spiders)
Body length 4-18 mm.
Males and females are alike, except males have smaller abdomens. There is a fair variation in body colour, with some being pale yellow to brown, and others being almost black. The white cross-shaped, dotted markings are usually quite distinct, which lead it to be sometimes called the ‘Cross Spider’. The legs are light and dark banded.
Garden Spiders are from a family of spiders called Orbweb Spiders, of which they have most distinctive vertical and circular webs. They have a central hub with radiating lines and spirals of sticky and non-sticky silk. The spider normally sits in the centre of the web waiting to catch its prey. It feeds on flies and other winged insects which may fly into its web.
It matures summer to autumn, but is most often seen in the autumnal months within its webs suspended and glistening like tiny beads of pearls in the early morning dew.
Found in bushes and other vegetation in woodland, heathland, and gardens. Common and widespread throughout. Native to Britain.