The Cross Orbweaver Spider (Araneus diadematus) is an arachnid in the Araneidae family of orb-weaving araneomorphic spiders. It is also known as the European Garden Spider, the Diadem Spider, the Orangle, the Cross Spider, and the Crowned Orb Weaver.
The Cross Orbweaver varies in colour from light yellow to dark-grey. It has mottled white markings on its abdomen, often forming a cross shape. It has a heart-shaped body. It has chelicerae (jaws) that move from side to side in a scissor-like motion. It has eight small eyes grouped closely together. Its legs are banded and spiny.
It measures about 2.5 centimetres (one inch) long.
It rests head-down in the centre of its web. It builds its web at night.
It is found in Europe in countries such as France, Portugal, and Spain, and in the north African country of Algeria, as well as in North America.
The female lays eggs in large, papery sacs within the web in early autumn. The eggs hatch in spring. The young are called spiderlings.
[Location of photographs: Paris, France]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM