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.
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