Walnut Orb-weaver – Nuctenea umbratica

Body length male 8-9mm, female 11-14mm.This is a dark coloured spider, where the males and females are quite similar. Both sexes maybe be slightly darker in colour, or so dark that the lighter margins maybe indistinguishable or be reduced to a series of pale dots.

The Walnut Orb-weaver may bite humans, causing skin irritation which can be quite painful resulting in burning and itching sensations, redness and white lumps. It is a nocturnal hunter, and spins its web just before dark to catch moths and other nocturnal insects.

Females are seen all year round, where as the males are seen in the summer. Found in woods and gardens, hiding under the bark of trees, especially rotten stumps or logs. They can also be found resting on fence posts and gates. It is common and widespread throughout Britain, although not frequently seen.