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European Garden Spider

Araneus diadematus

Description:

Individual spiders' colouring can range from extremely light yellow to very dark grey, but all European garden spiders have mottled markings across the back with five or more large white dots forming a cross. The white dots result from cells that are filled with guanine, which is a byproduct of protein metabolism. Adult females range in length from 6.5 to 20 mm (0.26 to 0.79 in) while males range from 5.5 to 13 mm (0.22 to 0.51 in). The third pair of legs of garden spiders are specialized for assisting in the spinning of orb webs. These spiders also use them to move around on their web without getting stuck. These legs are useful only in the web; while on the ground, these legs are of little value.

Notes:

Aranha-de-cruz (Portuguese)

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Ana Rosa
Spotted by
Ana Rosa

Algarve, Portugal

Spotted on Aug 6, 2005
Submitted on Sep 23, 2012

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