As promised at the end of yesterday's post, today I'm going to feature the garden spider (Araneus diadematus). I've been watching this female over the summer and last night noticed something unusual in her web. It wasn't the usual prey, and on closer inspection it became clear that she had produced an egg sac. This will contain the spiderlings which will hatch next spring.
Spiderlings from earlier this year
Although I've seen (and featured) nursery web spiders with egg sacs, it was the first time I'd seen one on a garden spider web.
From what I've read she should now guard the egg sac, but she won't survive to see them emerge next year. Here she is attending to it. She was adding silk to the ball.
On checking tonight, the egg sac has moved, probably under the cover of the ivy where the web is located (she generally hides under the ivy during bad weather or when disturbed so I know her web extends beyond what can be seen). For completeness I'll include a link to the garden spider mating ritual, a sequence taken a couple of years ago (and also linked to from this BBC wildlife page).
Camera note: all shots taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100mm f/2.8L macro IS USM lens.