The Garden Spider is also known as the Cross Spider because it has white dots on it back that form the shape of a cross. It can be found throughout the country in woodlands, parks and gardens on bushes and other vegetation. It is an orb-weaving spider because it weaves a circular web in a spiral pattern. The spider waits patiently in the centre of the web and when an insect gets caught in it, the spider quickly wraps the insect with fine silk to immobilise it. The Garden Spider then kills the insect with a venomous bite before eating it.
The Garden Spider is approximately one centimetre in length and can be a sandy-brown colour or dark brown. Its body is divided into two parts: the ‘cephalothorax’ and the ‘abdomen’. The cephalothorax holds eight eyes, four pairs of hairy legs and the spider’s jaws. The abdomen has silk-producing organs called ‘spinnerets’ which are situated at the rear of the abdomen.
The female Garden Spider makes an egg sac out of silk and lays her eggs in it. The young, known as spiderlings, hatch out of the eggs in May. Each spiderling is yellow with a black pyramid-shaped marking on its back. The spiderlings stay together in a group until they have developed enough to be fully independent.