The white cross-like marking on the back of this arachnid led to its common name and is its main identification characteristic.
Originally from Europe, the Cross Orbweaver Spider was transported to North America and has settled in nicely because of the similar environment.
Cross Orbweaver Spiders are found in a variety of habitats including meadows, gardens, woodland clearings, hedgerows, semi-arid deserts and evergreen forests.
It is steadfast sentry in my gardens that I look forward to seeing every Summer. Females of this species are almost twice the size of the males.
Like other orbweavers, this spider sits in the center of its web with its head down. During times where it perceives danger, it may sit on the edge of its web with its legs tucked under itself.
In late September, females leave their webs and search for protected locations to deposit between 300 to 900 eggs. The eggs are enclosed within a cocoon of yellow, silken threads. The usual egg deposition sites are under tree bark and in cracks and crevices.
Although I usually tend to see them in the same spot day after day during the warmer months, this spider creates a new web every day.