Four Spot Orb Weaver Spider

The Four Spot Orb Weaver (Araneus quadratus) is a spectacular beastie noted for being our heaviest spider and arguably our most striking.

It is readily identified in the field by its four large white spots on its circular abdomen which can be up to 17mm, and often comes in different colours – ranging from orangey-red to light yellow-green.

It frequents gorse, heather and areas of long, undisturbed grassland that is of sufficient height and strength to support its large web. Usually placed no higher than 1.5 metres from the ground it contains a tent-like silk retreat to one side in which the spider sits when not out in the web.

A Four Spot Orb Weaver on purple flowers

Despite its bold markings it is surprisingly little recorded in Northumberland especially throughout the National Park. It is at its biggest and most noticeable in August and September when its true prey catching abilities can often be observed when wasps and bumblebees make up a part of its diet!

If you find this spider let us know. Northumberland National Park is working with the Environmental Records Centre North East (ERIC) who hold and collate the information.

Any records can be sent directly to their website: www.ericnortheast.org.uk/recording-wildlife We receive all records back from ERIC to assist us in monitoring wildlife.

For more information on spiders visit: www.britishspiders.org.uk