Lesser Garden Spider Metellina segmentata sensu lato

Lesser Garden Spider Metellina segmentata

Discovered in garden. 1st September 2015. © Peter Hillman

Family Tetragnathidae (Long-jawed orbweb spiders)

Body length 4-8 mm.

Also called the ‘Autumn Spider’, it can be a variable spider in colour and markings. It can be pale cream or tinged with red or pink, with pale triangular markings on the front end of the abdomen. It is very similar to M. mengei, and the only reliable way to accurately identify the species is via microscopic examination of the genitalia, hence the senso lato here. It could possibly be confused with males of the Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus), but the Lesser Garden Spider is smaller and slimmer.

Seen late summer to autumn, and found in gardens, grasslands, woodland and hedgerows. An abundant and widespread species throughout. Native to Britain.