Whilst out with the dogs in the early morning sun I spotted a Banded Garden Spider sitting in its web with the low angle of the sun shining through the web and snapped these shots with my phone.
You can clearly see the zigzag pattern of the “stabilimentum”. It’s not certain what this is used for but it’s suggested that it attracts insects due to ultraviolet light reflecting of it and attracting insects in the same way a flower does.
The Banded Garden Spider is a type of Orb Weaver (named due to the shape of its web) and is very similar to the Wasp Spider. Below is a photo of a Wasp Spider taken a while ago. As you can see they are similar but the best identification mark is the two vertical black lines on the Banded Garden Spider making a faint U shape.
Whilst they make look dangerous, they are not harmful to humans and a great insect predator to have in the garden.
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