In high summer and autumn the beautiful orb webs of the Garden Spider, Araneus diadematus, can be found strung across paths, between shrubs and even in front of doors. During the night the industrious spider spins its silk and weaves it into a web ready for the following day. This is one of our largest British spiders and a very common resident of gardens. The distinctive white cross mark on the abdomen has given rise to the alternative names of 'Cross spider' and 'Diadem spider'. Colours vary and include sandy brown, fox-red and almost black. Adult female grow to 15mm (body length), and males to 9mm. They are commonly seen between June and November when the first frosts kill them off. Garden spiders are found in Europe and much of Asia across to Japan. They are now also found in parts of North America.
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