Garden spider

Key information

Garden spiders vary in colour from pale yellowy-brown to very dark brown, but they all have a characteristic white cross-shaped group of spots on their abdomen. They are widespread and common throughout the UK, except in some areas of northern Scotland.

These spiders spin orb webs to catch their prey – flying insects. Orb webs are the most advanced spider webs, built by laying spirals of silk around radial threads. They sit in the centre of their web rushing out and wrapping any caught insect in sticky silk.

After mating, the female builds a silken cocoon in which she lays her eggs. She protects this egg sac until she dies in late autumn. The spiderlings hatch the following May.

What they eat:

Garden spiders eat flying insects such as butterflies, wasps and flies.


Females 10-18mm, males 4-8mm

Identifying features:

Natural habitats: Bog garden Flower border Hedge Herb garden Meadow area Patio Shrub Woodland area

Where and when to see them

They can be seen on bushes and vegetation throughout the garden.


Garden spiders can be seen from May until November, although more obvious in late summer and autumn.

  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec