Spinning a net
Dew in early autumnal mornings reveals the delicate webs of garden spiders. These orb webs are among the most advanced spun by spiders. They consist of a series of concentric circles, starting from the smallest at the centre, each divided by radial lines of silk that are stretched between anchor points. The spider sits upside down in the centre of the web, waiting for insects to be trapped in the sticky silk. It then quickly wraps its prey in more silk and bites it. Garden spiders are most commonly seen in September and October, when they reach adult size. The orb web is spun by the female, the male building a smaller zigzag web nearby. He attracts her attention by plucking at the silk on her web. After mating, the female builds a silken cocoon in which her eggs are laid. She protects this egg sac until she dies in late autumn. The spiderlings hatch the following May.