Belongs to: spiders

Lesser garden spider Metallina segmentata


Best time to see: Jul to end Oct

Key facts

A common garden spider that spins the familiar orb-web and sits in it, head down, waiting for prey

Colourful and strongly patterned, but very variable in colour

Common and widespread in Britain

Recognition

Rounded abdomen narrowing towards the back – up to 8mm in females, less in males, which also have longer legs

Abdomen very variable in colour, from cream to green with darker patterning in a range of colours

Lifecycle

Male hangs around near a web in late summer and autumn, waiting until the female is busy with prey to mate

Egg sacs resemble a bird dropping and are pressed against a plant stem

The young over-winter as spiderlings

  • Main photo

Photo © Tony Gunton