Subject: Crab Spider in Los Angeles? BONUS QUESTION
Location: Los Angeles, CA
August 17, 2012 4:10 pm
Hey Bugman. I wanted to show you a couple pix of a crab spider I found in my yard in Los Angeles. At least, I think it’s a crab spider. Can you please confirm?
BONUS: The third (and obviously different) photo is a black orb weaver – can you confirm too?
Though it is highly variable in coloration according to BugGuide, we believe we have identified your individual as a White Banded Crab Spider, Misumenoides formosipes, based on this image on BugGuide. According to BugGuide: “The identifying characteristic, according to Florida’s Fabulous Spiders, is a white ridge on the spider’s face below the eyes. Can be either white or yellow. Most sources say this is a response to its surroundings, but I did find one claim that color depended on whether the egg was laid on a yellow or white-flowered plant. See here for brief description of this theory.” The theory, according to the Spiders of Kaweah River Delta Region by Marjorie Moody is: “According to ‘Spiderman’ Brian Carroll, this flower crab spider cannot change its color like a chameleon. He performed an experiment and disproved the myth that this spider can change to white or cream if placed on a white flower. What he did discover, however, is that if a yellow crab spider lays her eggs on a white-flowered plant, her offspring will be white, not yellow. Furthermore, if a white crab spider lays her eggs on a yellow-flowered plant her offspring will be yellow, not white. “ Crab Spiders do not spin webs to trap prey. They often wait on flowers and plants to ambush insects that are attracted to the plants. Though we cannot determine the species by your photograph, the other spider does appear to be an orbweaver.