Wasp spider in its web with dewdrops

Orb weavers

Orb weaver spiders are the makers of the classic orb webs frequently seen in gardens, fields and forests. Their wheel-shaped webs consist of concentric circles with spokes radiating out from the centre and can measure a metre wide - plenty of space to trap hapless insects in the sticky silk. A beautifully coloured large abdomen and small head is noticeable in the females of most species. The males are generally smaller, don't usually build webs and spend most of their time wandering in search of a mate. Of the 3,500 species or weaver, many are well known, and none more so than the common garden spider of North America and Europe.

Scientific name: Araneidae

Rank: Family

Common names:

  • Orb spiders,
  • Orb weaver spiders,
  • Orbweavers

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The Orb weavers can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Amazon Rainforest, Asia, Australia, China, Europe, Indian subcontinent, Mediterranean, North America, Russia, South America, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

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The following habitats are found across the Orb weavers distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

When they lived

Discover the other animals and plants that lived during the following geological time periods.

BBC News about Orb weavers

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