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Walnut Orb-weavers

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Quick Facts

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, garden sheds, washing lines, and sometimes show up inside houses

Food:  Small invertebrates

Special features:  Walnut Orb-weavers (sometimes called Black Orb-weavers) are fairly common garden spiders.  They can be brown or black coloured, and they have a shiny, flattened, 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 dark brown oak leaf-shaped marking on the dorsal side of the abdomen.  On the ventral side there are two, cream coloured, teardrop-shaped patches.

Walnut Orb-weavers are quite timid and usually only venture out at night.  As the name suggests they catch their prey in a web.

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