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Cross Orb Weaver (Araneus diadematus)

The Cross Orb Weaver is a European and North American spider. The legs of these spiders are adapted for spinning orb webs from which they get their common name. This spider was introduced in the United States from Western and Northern Europe.

Scientific Classification

Cross Orb Weaver

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: Like most other spider species, the adult females are larger than the males with a length between 6.5 and 20 mm (0.26 to 0.79 in), whereas the males are between 5.5 and 13 mm (0.22 to 0.51 in).

Color: The coloration between individuals can vary, ranging from very light yellow to dark grey. However, the mottled white markings across the dorsal abdomen, alongside four (or sometimes more) segments forming a cross mark is are common to all.

Other Characteristic Features: The silk of the spider is very durable using which, they can spin large and complex orb-webs with a diameter of up to 40 cm.

Cross Orb Weaver Female

Eggs

After copulation, the females lay about 200-900 eggs in a sac that remains hung from the web. The size of the egg sac itself is nearly the same as the size of the adult garden spiders. The sac is covered in brown silk and is durable enough to protect the baby spiders from strong winds and predator attacks.

Cross Orb Weaver Egg

Spiderlings

The baby spiders overwinter within their eggs and hatch out to disperse only when spring arrives. The mother spiders die soon after laying the eggs, and can neither wait to protect the sac, nor the newborn offspring or assist them in finding food, and hence, the spiderlings grow up by themselves.

Cross Orb Weaver Spiderlings

How Poisonous is the European Garden Spider

The bite of the Cross Orb Weaver is not painful or dangerous, but rather, slightly unpleasant. They are also not venomous, and the bite is harmless to humans.

Cross Orb Weaver Web
Crowned Orb Weaver

Quick Facts

Other Names European garden spider, diadem spider, pumpkin spider, orangie, cross spider, crowned orb weaver
Lifespan The average lifespan of the female is twelve months; however, most of them die after laying eggs; the males are often consumed by the females after mating
Distribution In parts of North America throughout a range that extends from New England, as well as in the Southeast to California and the Northwestern US and adjacent regions of Canada
Habitat They are found in a varied range of habitats, including meadows, woodland clearings, hedgerows, human-made gardens, as also, next to buildings especially those with exterior lighting (where they can prey upon insects very easily)
Common predators Mostly birds, but also various reptiles including lizards
Diet Usually flying insects, including flies and mosquitoes
Diadem Spider
European Garden Spider

Did You Know

  • These spiders often store their prey, wrapped in silk, for later consumption.
  • The enzyme injected by them to catch their prey is so potent that it can liquefy the internal structures of the victim.
  • These spiders build a new web every day.
Cross Orb Weaver Spider

Image Credits: Riveredgenaturecenter.org, C1.staticflickr.com, I.pinimg.com, Voubs.com, Curbstonevalley.com, Isfba.bugpeople.org,
Alpinelady.files.wordpress.com

The Cross Orb Weaver is a European and North American spider. The legs of these spiders are adapted for spinning orb webs from which they get their common name. This spider was introduced in the United States from Western and Northern Europe.

Cross Orb Weaver

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

Size: Like most other spider species, the adult females are larger than the males with a length between 6.5 and 20 mm (0.26 to 0.79 in), whereas the males are between 5.5 and 13 mm (0.22 to 0.51 in).

Color: The coloration between individuals can vary, ranging from very light yellow to dark grey. However, the mottled white markings across the dorsal abdomen, alongside four (or sometimes more) segments forming a cross mark is are common to all.

Other Characteristic Features: The silk of the spider is very durable using which, they can spin large and complex orb-webs with a diameter of up to 40 cm.

Cross Orb Weaver Female

Eggs

After copulation, the females lay about 200-900 eggs in a sac that remains hung from the web. The size of the egg sac itself is nearly the same as the size of the adult garden spiders. The sac is covered in brown silk and is durable enough to protect the baby spiders from strong winds and predator attacks.

Cross Orb Weaver Egg

Spiderlings

The baby spiders overwinter within their eggs and hatch out to disperse only when spring arrives. The mother spiders die soon after laying the eggs, and can neither wait to protect the sac, nor the newborn offspring or assist them in finding food, and hence, the spiderlings grow up by themselves.

Cross Orb Weaver Spiderlings

How Poisonous is the European Garden Spider

The bite of the Cross Orb Weaver is not painful or dangerous, but rather, slightly unpleasant. They are also not venomous, and the bite is harmless to humans.

Cross Orb Weaver Web
Crowned Orb Weaver

Quick Facts

Other Names European garden spider, diadem spider, pumpkin spider, orangie, cross spider, crowned orb weaver
Lifespan The average lifespan of the female is twelve months; however, most of them die after laying eggs; the males are often consumed by the females after mating
Distribution In parts of North America throughout a range that extends from New England, as well as in the Southeast to California and the Northwestern US and adjacent regions of Canada
Habitat They are found in a varied range of habitats, including meadows, woodland clearings, hedgerows, human-made gardens, as also, next to buildings especially those with exterior lighting (where they can prey upon insects very easily)
Common predators Mostly birds, but also various reptiles including lizards
Diet Usually flying insects, including flies and mosquitoes
Diadem Spider
European Garden Spider

Did You Know

  • These spiders often store their prey, wrapped in silk, for later consumption.
  • The enzyme injected by them to catch their prey is so potent that it can liquefy the internal structures of the victim.
  • These spiders build a new web every day.
Cross Orb Weaver Spider

Image Credits: Riveredgenaturecenter.org, C1.staticflickr.com, I.pinimg.com, Voubs.com, Curbstonevalley.com, Isfba.bugpeople.org,
Alpinelady.files.wordpress.com

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