Continuing the spidery theme of late, it being the season for it, you can't have missed the eponymous Garden Spider. The picture above shows a female as big as they come – about 15mm long excluding legs. They're often to be found in the centre of their web facing downwards towards the ground, but if absent then look for a separate thread running away from the web at an angle, which will probably terminate at a curled leaf nearby. Hiding behind that leaf will be the resident garden spider with one leg resting on that thread so it can sense visitors to its web.

It's sometimes possible to mimic an insect landing by tickling the web with a piece of grass until the spider runs out to see what it's caught. That said it's surprising how often they're unconvinced by human efforts at deception.

Note that these spiders very rarely bite, but will have a go at chewing your fingers endearingly if provoked – though only the very biggest ones could break the skin.

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  1. we spotted one today and it does not look pretty. The abdomen is very big and looks like it has a very thin waist. I had to look it up to make sure it’s not poisonos.
    Not far from it there is a much smaller one, so I guess we are for a big bunch next year.

  2. I’d be very surprised if the average UK garden didn’t have tens or even hundreds of them. They are particularly noticeable at this time of year when they’re at their largest and have their webs strung across every bush so it seems.

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