European garden spider

Araneus diadematus

The European garden spider, diadem spider, cross spider, or cross orbweaver is a very common and well-known orb-weaver spider in Europe and parts of North America, in a range extending from New England and the Southeast to California and the northwestern United States and adjacent parts of southern Canada.
Nearly ready to go! Spiderlings of the Garden Cross spider freshly hatched.
“Females protect their eggs by building a silk egg sac, which they lay their eggs in. Once filled with eggs a female will not leave the sac, she will spend her life protecting it and she will eventually die in late autumn before her spiderlings hatch in the following May.

Next May a mass of young spiderlings each with yellow abdomen and a dark patch will hatch out of the egg sac. Once hatched they collect together into a bright yellow bundle of tiny spiders and if disturbed they will wildly scatter, only reassembling when the danger has moved on. After their first moult they will separate, living individually and maturing into fully grown adult spiders after two years.” from https://www.buglife.org.uk/bugs-and-habitats/garden-cross-spider Quite the cute little fellows. I wish them luck! Araneus diadematus,Canada,European garden spider,Geotagged,Spring

Appearance

Individual spiders' colouring can range from extremely light yellow to very dark grey, but all European garden spiders have mottled markings across the back, with five or more large, white dots forming a cross. The white dots result from cells filled with guanine, which is a byproduct of protein metabolism.

Adult females range in length from 6.5 to 20 mm , while males range from 5.5 to 13 mm .

The third pair of legs of garden spiders are specialized for assisting in the spinning of orb webs. These spiders also use them to move around on their web without getting stuck. These legs are useful only in the web; while on the ground, these legs are of little value.
Bee for Breakfast Spotted this monster and his prey in my garden.

Single exposure with a reversed 50mm.

Click on the photo for more detail. Araneus diadematus,European garden spider,Geotagged,Netherlands,Summer

Behavior

Since this tends to be a passive animal, it is difficult to provoke to bite—but if it does, the bite is just slightly unpleasant and completely harmless to humans.

The webs are built by the larger females who usually lie head down on the web, or in a nearby leaf , waiting for prey to get entangled in the web. The prey is then quickly captured and wrapped in silk before being eaten. Orb spiders are said to eat their webs each night along with many of the small insects stuck to it. They have been observed doing this within a few minutes. A new web is then spun in the morning.
The Garden Spider, Araneus diadematus Yes, it is a common spider but it looked lovely in the sunshine while hopefully enjoying its snack.     Araneus diadematus,Canada,European garden spider,Geotagged,Summer

Reproduction

The much smaller male will approach the female cautiously to mate. If not careful, he could end up being eaten by her.

References:

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