Surname: Garden spider
Other namesImage: Cross spider
Latin name: Araneus diadematus
size: 1 - 2 cm
Older: up to 2 years
Appearance: Cruciform pattern on the abdomen
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Insectivore (insectivore)
food: Flying insects
distribution: Europe, North America
original origin: unknown
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
habitat: Gardens, hedges, forests, forest edges, meadows
natural enemies: Birds
sexual maturity: ?
mating season: August September
oviposition: 50 - 200 eggs
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting facts about the garden spider
- The garden spider or Araneus diadematus describes a widespread in Central Europe species within the web spiders.
- It is considered the best-known representative of the spiders and is native to all of Europe. It inhabits pristine landscapes such as dense coniferous forests, orchards, bogs, hedgerows and forest edges. In addition, it is often found in gardens, with grassy meadows and cultivated landscapes. It usually stays in places that are in the shade or only half-day illuminated by the sun.
- The garden spider is easy to recognize due to the pattern of its upper abdomen. The bright spots appearing on a brown background result in four oblong strokes that are strongly reminiscent of a cross in their arrangement.
- In Central Europe, the garden spider is considered one of the largest spider species ever. The females are almost two inches tall, the males are significantly smaller with a body length of one centimeter.
- The garden spider feeds on various insects such as bees, bumblebees, butterflies and flies, which are caught in their large bike net. This can reach a diameter of up to half a meter and consists of sticky, densely interwoven threads that are formed in the abdominal spinnerets.
- Once a prey animal has caught in the net, the garden spider bites and thereby releases digestive enzymes that slowly degrade the body of the victim. The spider wraps the prey firmly after the bite and hangs the resulting cocoon-like structure as a supply at the edge of the net.
- The garden spider usually sits in the middle of its web, which it almost never leaves. As a result, it can easily be captured by passing birds.
- In the mating season from August, the males spin so-called application threads, which they hang on the net of a selected female. By plucking at such a thread, the female reacting extremely sensitively to movements, notices that it is courted by a male.
- The mating then takes place directly on the application thread and takes only a few seconds. Many males are then eaten by their partners.
- After mating, the female spins out of her threads small cocoons of yellowish color into which her eggs lie. After the last produced cocoon it dies in the autumn.
- From the eggs, which hibernate in the cocoons, hatch until next April or May, the young spiders. These hibernate and then continue to plant the following summer.