Cross Orbweaver

a big spider with a cross pattern on its back

  • Stats:

  • Observation Date: 26/10/2019
  • Species: Araneus diadematus
  • Family: Araneidae (Orbweavers)
  • Order: Araneae
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Origin: Europe, but Introduced in North America
  • Habitat: Forested areas, gardens, meadows, places with plenty of vegetation, and buildings with decent external lightning


This is one of the biggest spider I ever saw in the area. It´s size depends on the sex, with males being smaller (between 5.5 and 13 mm) compared to the females such as the one I found (between 6.5 and 20 mm).

It´s name is a reference to its beautiful cross-like pattern on its abdomen with a orange-brown coloring and motted spots.

Other names can include: European garden spider, diadem spider, pumpkin spider, orangie, cross spider, and crowned orb weaver.

Orbweavers are called as such because of their construction of Orbwebs, like a lot of spiders it hunts by wait for it prey (insects) to show up then once it detects one through vibration it swoops in and wraps it up in silk to later be eaten.

Thye often bite their prey first in order to paralize them, and then to digest them thanks to enzymes. This is done so in order to avoid being stung or bitten, such as this wasp that I caught it munching on.

a spider eating a wasp

closeup of the spider eating a wasp

These webs tend to be build by females and they are very durable thanks to the strenght of its silk.

Speaking of females, this is indeed a species that practices sexual cannibalism. Males are often times eaten after mating, althought this could also depend on the hunger levels.

After mating the female will lay about 200-900 eggs and incase them in a sack attached to the web, in order to protect the spiderlings from predators and the weather.

They typically stay there during the winter and come out on spring, in which they are born ready to fend for themselves.

As for the parent, females typically live only for 12 months only to die shortly after reproduction.

For those wondering, is this spider dangerous to humans?

No, actually. It´s bite might be unpleasant but otherwise its harmless. It´s actually very rare for it to bite unless it feels really threatened.

And even even then its preferred method of defense is confusing potential predators (such as birds and lizards) trhoguh vibrating in its web.

Source Reference:


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