Araneus diadematus
Also known as Garden Spider, Cross Spider

Spider on a web
Spider on a web
Spiderlings hatching
Spiderlings hatching

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Host Plants:

Where Found:

Worldwide, except in Arctic climates


The garden spider (also known as the cross spider because of a distinctive white cross-shaped pattern on the upper surface of its abdomen) are light orange to dark brown spiders, with striped legs. Adult garden spiders spin large orb webs during the night and then sit in the middle to await their daytime catches. In late summer, the adult females lays many eggs, which she until she dies in late autumn. The eggs hatch the following spring and the new spiderlings cluster together in a group. After their first skin shed, the spiderlings disperse and develop over the following months into adults.

Beneficial Because:

Young garden spiders feed on a wide range of small insect pests.

Food and Habitat:

Garden spiders will eat aphids, nuisance flies, gnats and mosquitoes during spring and summer. Larger flies and wasps will also be trapped and eaten by the adult spiders in late summer and autumn. Garden spiders are commonly found in gardens, woodlands and hedgerows.

Attracting More:

Provide lots of flowering plants to attract the flying insects that garden spiders feed on. Include shrubs in your landscape, which can serve as spider nurseries. When renovating a garden bed, allow a few minutes for spiders to run away after you rake off mulch or pull out plants. Avoid using pesticides, which are often deadly for spiders.

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