Cucumber Green Orb Spider - Araniella cucurbitina sensu stricto


    There are two common Araniella species found in Leicestershire and Rutland: A. cucurbitina and A. opisthographa. They are hard to tell apart in the field and are often found together, expert help may be needed to be certain of correct identification between the two species. Females grow up to 8 mm, males only up to 5 mm. They are a pale yellowish green in colour and have a red mark under the abdomen.

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Araniella cucurbitina:  1-4 pairs of black dots on abdomen sides (excluding the middle ‘dots’), males 3-4 spines on the underside of femur I.
    Araniella opisthographa: 5 pairs of black dots on abdomen sides (excluding the middle ‘dots’), males 7-8 spines on the underside of femur I.

    Recording advice

    Identification to species level requires confirmation of characteristic features.


    Mainly along woodland edges, hedgerows and other well wooded areas.

    When to see it

    Late Spring to Autumn.

    Life History

    They spin a small web between leaves and don't hide away but rely on colour for camouflage. Predatory mainly on flying insects caught in its orb web.

    UK Status

    Common and widespread in Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

    Further Information

    4,350 British records for this species to 2015.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map