European garden spiders can be identified in a few different ways. The orb weavers spin traditional wheel-shaped webs that are extremely easy to spot, especially the largest ones, which reach nearly 16 inches in diameter. You’ll typically notice their intricate webs during the day, and it turns out that what you’re noticing is freshly made, as these spiders rebuild a brand new web every morning. Each night, they feast on the catches of the day as well as the web itself. The spiders often weave their webs in areas with vegetation nearby like gardens, but are also partial to outdoor lighting because of its appeal to insects.
Along with their iconic webs, European garden spiders can be easily recognized by their physical appearance. Both have brown and orange colorations with white dots forming a cross-like pattern on the back, but females have noticeably larger abdomens and furrier legs than males. A female can typically be spotted in the middle of her web or waiting in nearby plants for an insect to find itself tangled in her creation.