The Garden Spider, Araneus diadematus, is also known as the Cross or Diadem Spider because of the pattern of small white markings on its back. I remember a friend at junior school once kept this species in a jam jar for a few days. I was impressed by its beautiful markings. He called it Arthur. Little did he know that Arthur was a female. And to be totally accurate, the proverbial 'jam jar' was probably a Gale's honey jar with holes punched in the gold screw-top lid. This was the bug box of its day. Usually with a few sprigs of privet or a wisp of grass inside to make the creature feel more at home.
Feather MiteOur garden Blackbird, 'Whitetail' has a patch of feathers missing from the top of his head, just behind his left eye. It's an area that must be difficult for him to preen and I wonder if he's got a problem with feather mite.
Spiders on the WebSpiders of North-West Europe by Ed Nieuwenhuys.