Araneus diadematus
(Cross Orb-weaver)

Taxonomic Hierarchy

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Suborder: Araneomorphae
  • Family: Araneidae
  • Genus: Araneus
  • Species: Araneus diadematus

Common Name (AASMore information icon)

Cross Orb-weaver

Other Common Names

European Garden Spider, Cross Spider, Diadem Spider, Crowned Orb-weaver, Garden Spider, Garden Cross Spider


Carl Alexander Clerck, 1757


ah-RAY-nee-uhs dy-uh-DEM-ah-tuss

Identification Traits

Disclaimer: The following table provides a quick overview of the spider's basic attributes. The physical traits are greatly generalized in order to aid in the identification and sorting of spider species using our search feature. This information is not exhaustive, and keep in mind that traits such as color, markings, and overall size and shape can vary widely within a species due to variables such as the spider's age, gender, diet, hydration level, climate, and habitat. Though experienced arachnologists and hobbyists can often classify spiders rather accurately based on their unique markings and general appearance, it's important to know that scientifically accurate spider identification relies on detailed taxonomic keys and microscopic examinations of a spider's reproductive organs.

Female iconFemale Male iconMale
Body size More information icon 6mm - 20mm 6mm - 13mm
Eye count 8
Primary Colors
Identifying Traits Fuzzy or hairy appearance, Unique pattern, Striped or banded legs, Visible spines on legs
Web style Orb web

Additional Remarks

  • The white cross marking is created by collections of guanine under the spider’s cuticle. Rarely, it may be lacking entirely.
  • Underside of abdomen with central black area framed by pale ‘L’-shaped brackets (but lots of other orbweavers have similar ventral markings, as well).
  • This species is one of the most well-known spiders in the whole world, and has been the subject of numerous scientific research papers.
  • It was elected as the “European Spider of the Year” in 2010.
  • In 1952, it was the star of a short film documentary called “Epeira Diadema” by Italian director Alberto Ancilotto. It was nominated for an Oscar in 1953.
  • Spider may “bounce” up and down in the middle of its web if it feels threatened.
  • Egg sacs roughly 20mm in diameter, made of fluffy yellowish-orange silk. Usually stuck in rolled up leaves, under eaves of buildings, within woodpiles, or other protected places, but not hung in the web itself. May contain 100-800 yellow eggs.

Featured Pictures

Picture of Araneus diadematus (Cross Orb-weaver) - Female - Dorsal,Gravid Enlarge picture icon
Picture of Araneus diadematus (Cross Orb-weaver) - Female - Dorsal Enlarge picture icon
Picture of Araneus diadematus (Cross Orb-weaver) - Dorsal Enlarge picture icon
Picture of Araneus diadematus (Cross Orb-weaver) - Dorsal Enlarge picture icon
Picture of Araneus diadematus (Cross Orb-weaver) - Female - Lateral,Webs Enlarge picture icon
Picture of Araneus diadematus (Cross Orb-weaver) - Female Enlarge picture icon
Picture of Araneus diadematus (Cross Orb-weaver) - Female - Ventral Enlarge picture icon
Picture of Araneus diadematus (Cross Orb-weaver) - Dorsal,Webs Enlarge picture icon
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