Female to 18mm; male to 9mm.
Female (photo) usually recognised by a cross of pale spots on the abdomen which varies in colour from beige to brown, brick-red and black. Carapace brown with a dark central band. The spiny legs are banded light and dark. The smaller male rarely bites.
Woodland, scrub, and gardens of all kinds (often enters buildings in the autumn). Very common in the Northern Hemisphere: Europe and much of Asia to Japan; also parts of N America. Adults occur from June to November; the young emerge from the egg-sac in spring (they appear yellow, with a black pyramid mark).
A vertical orb.
'On the arm while in bed. Felt nausea, the arm swelled badly for 3 days.'