Walnut Orb-Weaver Spider (Nuctenea umbratica)

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Scientific name: Nuctenea umbratica

Size: Female grows to around 14mm, male up to 9mm

Distribution: Found throughout the UK

Months seen: All year round

Habitat: Found mostly under the bark of dead trees. Sometimes shows up inside houses

Food: Flies, moths, midges and other night-flying insects

Special features: The Walnut Orb-weaver is a fairly common garden spider. It is dark coloured, with a shiny, pill-shaped abdomen. The female Walnut Orb-weaver has a larger, more rounded abdomen. The male is slimmer and has distinctive rounded palps. Both the male and female have a brown, oak leaf shaped marking on the abdomen.

This species is frequently found beneath the bark of dead trees, as well as on windows of out buildings. It is most active at night, and, as the name suggests, catches its prey in a web.

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