Cross Spider

Cross Spider – Araneus diadematus

Cross Spider

Size: 18mm

The species epithet diadematus refers to a diadem, “A jeweled crown or headband worn as a symbol of sovereignty.” It’s easy to see the resemblance of the abdominal markings to a crown worn by English royalty, or at least royalty adhering to the Christian faith. Indeed, the tendency in recent years is to commonly call this spider the “cross” spider, but I prefer the literal interpretation of the nomenclature: Crowned orbweaver.

This large female was found in a wooden picnic shelter at Wheaton, Illinois.  Although the air temp. was 80 degrees, she was rather lethargic.Cross Spider eyes

I visited her twice more over the space of 4 weeks. Last I saw her, Oct. 10th, she was still sitting in the same place, but no longer maintained an orb web. I assume her business was done, although I never was able to locate any of her mates and I never saw any egg cases.

Cross Spider lateral

There are over 3,000 species of orb weavers in 170 genera worldwide. Araneidae forms the third largest family of spiders, behind only Salticidae and Linyphiidae.

Crowned Orb Weaver

Reference: Cross spider

Orb Weavers
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Tree Encyclopedia / North American Insects & Spiders

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