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24 September 2014

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You are in: Cornwall > Local Radio > Strange spider

Crab spider

Strange spider

This is the strange looking spider Heather saw on her yucca plant in St. Just in Roseland. It turns out - after BBC Radio Cornwall spoke to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust - it's a Garden Cross spider.

When Heather spotted the strange spider she called BBC Radio Cornwall's lunchtime phone in programme to see if the team could find what species the spider was. She sent us these pictures below.

After much digging the lunchtime team managed to find an expert at the Cornwall Wildlife trust who told them it was a Garden Cross spider and quite common.

According to the Experts at the Cornwall Wildlife Trust the Garden Cross Spider or Araneus diadematus can grow quite large (gravid females 10 to 18mm) and are found in greenhouses as well as fences and hedgerows where there is a plentiful source of food.

This species can easily be recognised by a diffuse white cross on its abdomen, very stripy legs and the general shape of its abdomen. The Trust say they have seen greenish, brown, bright red, yellow and grey individuals but never a pure white specimen.

This is one of nine species of Araneus that occur across our region and no doubt the commonest and best known of this genus of orb-weavers. Though this species is sometimes known as the Garden Spider, it is by no means the commonest spider in gardens and prefers gorse bushes away from human influence.

The cross on its back has led to innumerable local common names across Europe. Whatever you want to call it, it is a good species in which to observe web-building, prey capture and mating.

last updated: 14/09/07

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