Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Master Hunters----Crab Spiders
This little brown spider is a Ground Crab Spider. This photo was taken last September, and I watched as this spider sneaked up behind the fly, slowly creeping unseen by the fly. The fly was busy cleaning his face and body using his front legs and saliva to wipe any filth off of himself that may have accumulated there. Little did he know he was about to meet his demise. With rapid movement the spider had captured the fly in the blink of an eye.
This is a Flower crab spider, that was also feeding on a fly. I came across this one already feasting, so I missed out on the actual hunting tactics of this particular spider.
Another flower crab spider, this time feeding on a silver spotted skipper butterfly. This flower crab spider and the one in the previous photograph are the same species Misumenoides formosipes and also go by the common name of white-banded crab spider.
Crab spiders are one of my favorite spiders, they are easy to find, they come in a multitude of colors, they are fun to watch with their crab-like movements and they do not bite when handled. Sometime in April they will begin appearing in the flowers and will be miniature versions of their parents, so small in fact that they are nearly impossible to see without looking closely. They grow rapidly over the summer and reach their adult size by August.