Introduced from Europe, the Araneus diadematus is often labeled the European Garden Spider. The female pictured above is nearly five times larger than the male of her species. She is plump with eggs, and before her death this fall, she will likely lay several thousand eggs into an egg sack larger than her 1" diameter abdomen. Of her eggs, any that survive to hatch in the spring will be fornunate. Any that survive the first twenty-four hours after hatching will be even more fornutate, and any that survive into sexual maturity will be less than 1% of the original brood. This female garden spider lives outside my front door, on my front porch. On evenings when it is warm enough, she creates for herself a new web. The last few nights have been too cold, and she has remained in this same position. Last night there was a frost which will be deadly to many smaller invertebrates though I expect her to have survived and to survive through the middle of November.
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