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


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


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

© Tony Gunton