Marbled Orb-weaver Spiders
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Scientific name: Araneus marmoreus var. pyramidatus
Size: Body and head up to 14mm
Distribution: Found in many parts of the UK. More frequent in southern England
Months seen: May to October
Habitat: Often near water on vegetation in damp heathland and woodland
Food: Small invertebrates
Special features: Marbled Orb-weavers are named after the extremely ornate marbled pattern on their abdomens. The Latin name "marmoreus" literally means "marble-like". The legs are cream coloured with darker bands.
There are two varieties; one is marbled all over, while the other has a cream or yellow coloured patch on the dorsal side of the abdomen with a darker coloured, roughly triangular patch. The latter (known as var. pyramidatus) is the most frequently seen and recorded variety in the UK.