Home Araneidae Tetragnathidae Theridiidae Linyphiidae Salticidae Thomisidae Lycosidae Clubionidae Other families

Spiders of this family are orb web spinners

Click on any image below to show an enlarged version.

Agalenatea redii
Very variable in its markings with distinctly different varieties. Those pictured show this variability. All were photographed on Cavenham Heath though I've found the species on several other Suffolk heathland sites.
Araneus diadematus (garden spider)
A very common spider in gardens and open countryside. The colour of the abdomen may be brown, reddish or black. The cross marking may be reduced to a few white spots.
Close up of female showing epigyne
Araneus quadratus (four-spotted orb weaver)
This beautiful spider with the round abdomen can be found in open areas such as undisturbed grassland and heathland, where it builds its orb web close to the ground. It usually builds a more substantial retreat than that of A. diadematus
Green form Reddish version
Araneus marmoreus var marmoreus (marbled orb weaver)
The marmoreus form is generally less common than the pyramidatus one (see below), although I have found places where it is more common. It resembles Araneus quadratus but, whilst that can be dark along the side of the abdomen, it doesn't have the marbling.
Araneus marmoreus var pyramidatus
The more common colour form of A. marmoreus. The species can be found in a variety of open and semi-open habitats, such as bramble banks, nettle banks, woodland edges and hedgerows.
Araniella
There are a two bright green Araniella species. The more common is A. cucurbitina but identification requires specimens to be examined under the microscope.
Adult male Juvenile (with parasite)
Argiope bruennichi (wasp spider)
Prior to 2016 I'd only seen Argiope abroad, but then in 2016 saw several at two sites in West Suffolk. The species is becoming increasingly common here. They seem to like areas of thick grass, with lots of grasshoppers for them to eat.
Cercidia prominens
Found low down in heather, thick grass etc. I've found it in low numbers of several of Suffolk's heaths but it's not common.
Female Male Female in the web
Cyclosa conica
I've found several of this species, in woodland edges or on isolated trees / bushes. However, I've never found more than one at a time. It usually creates a vertical line of dead prey items in its web.
Female Male
Gibbaranea gibbosa
Widespread but not a species which I've found in large numbers, just occasional ones. Usually found in bushes, particularly gorse, or trees.
Hypsosinga albovittata
A tiny spider that builds its web in heather and other low-growing vegetation. Found on several heaths in W Suffolk.
Female Sub adult male
Hypsosinga pygmaea
Uncommon. Most of the specimens I've found of this species have been from heathland but I have also found it in wetter habitats.
Larinioides cornutus
Can be common in open areas, particularly wet habitats such as marshes, riverbanks. Colour varies slightly, some specimens being rather dark.
Larinioides sclopetarius (bridge spider)
Similar to the above species, but is usually darker. It has different markings to N. umbratica. Usually found close to water, on bridges and other structures.
Adult male Adult female
Mangora acalypha (cricket bat spider)
I saw this species on two Suffolk heathland sites in 2019, my first sitings of it in the UK.
Neoscona adianta
Found in heather, gorse, thick grass etc. Where it occurs it can sometimes be abundant and the dominant araneid.
Nuctenea umbratica (walnut orb weaver)
This is a very common species but is nocturnal and therefore few people are familiar with it. Its flattened body allows it to hide away during the day in cracks in walls, behind bark etc.
Zilla diodia
This species was first recorded in Suffolk in 1996 and has spread across the county since, although most records are from the East. I have found it in semi-open habitats, in dense bushes such as gorse, and around the base of trees. Photos here are from Cavenham Heath and Knettishall Heath.
Zygiella x-notata
A very common spider, particularly around houses where it is the spider most likely to be found with a web in the corners of window frames. However, it will also build its web in bushes.
Zygiella atrica
Very similar to Z. x-notata, in size and markings, but the side of the abdomen is generally redder. Though common it is less familar than Z. x-notata because it is rarely found in gardens, preferring more open habitats.