Currently viewing the category: "Crab Spiders"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Unknown Spider
Location: Central Maine
June 20, 2011 11:03 am
Found this guy on the rose bush out front without actually intending to. I just receved a new camera lens in the mail and was testing it out when this little guy (gal?) decided to make an appearance.
I thought I’d ID’ed it as a jumping spider, but the range is completely off as it was listed as Virginia to Florida – and I’m in Maine.
It was a fairly decent sized spider as well, maybe an inch or a bit less legtip to legtip.
Signature: Jody

Crab Spider

Hi Jody,
This is a beautiful photograph of a Crab Spider,
Misumena vatia, in the family Tomisidae.  All members of the family are known as Crab Spiders, so that common name is not especially specific.  Crab Spiders do not build webs to snare their prey.  They often wait in ambush and they are excellent camouflage artists.  This species is also commonly called a Flower Spider because they wait on blossoms to ambush prey.  This species is also found in numerous color variations, and spiders tend to choose blossoms that most closely match their own coloration.  Here is a photo from BugGuide that looks very much like your individual.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

”Come into my parlor,” said the spider to the fly.
Location: Coryell County, Central Texas
May 8, 2011 12:27 pm
Hello again. Last year, you kindly identified some photos as a crab spider, or flower spider. I found this spider on another rose and was wondering if it also is a crab spider. It drained the fly, left its carcass and then hid behind another petal, legs ready to grab another fly. It’s a jungle out there.
Curious, I looked at a second rose and found a similar, smaller spider. I wonder if each of our roses has a spider :-)
Noticed brown spots on the roses, aphids, probably. Need a ladybug intervention soon.
Signature: Ellen

Crab Spider eats Bee

Hi Ellen,
This is indeed a Crab Spider, most likely the Goldenrod Crab Spider or Flower Spider,
Misumena vatia.  The images you sent us last year appear to be a different species. We believe the prey in your first photo is a Bee, not a Fly.  Flower Spiders get their common name from their habit of waiting for prey on blossoms, hence many of their victims are beneficial pollinating insects like this Bee.

Crab Spider

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What kind am I
Location: Middle Eastern Missouri (USA)
March 23, 2011 10:22 pm
I found two of these near the same spot behind my living room couch. At first glance i thought they may be Brown Recluse but a closer look and I 99.9% sure they are not but what are they?
Season: Start of spring
Signature: Tim Cochran

Running Crab Spider

Hi Tim,
Our first inclination is that this looks like a Giant Crab Spider in the genus
Heteropoda, though Missouri is a bit north for us to feel comfortable with that, not to mention that your specimen appears smaller.  The large pedipalps indicates this is a male spider.  We are going to enlist assistance from our readership with this identification.

Running Crab Spider

We also wish the resolution of your image was better because moving in close does not really reveal the eye pattern very clearly.

Running Crab Spider

Eric Eaton provides an identification
Nope, it is a “running crab spider,” family Philodromidae.
Sorry, gotta run.
Eric

According to BugGuide, Running Crab Spiders or:  “Philodromids tend to have the second pair of legs significantly longer than the first pair, which distinguishes them from the similar Thomisid crab spiders. In addition, thomisids have third and fourth legs that are shorter and more slender than the first two pairs of legs, while philodromid legs are subequal in length.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

flower spider for wasp babies.
Location: North Burnett. Queensland
February 18, 2011 11:30 pm
Hi Guys,
Just spotted this little wasp, about 1cm, making a valiant effort to transport this flower spider to its burrow. It would do a series of three ’flying hops’ and then rest for a few moments. I guess to build up reserves for the next leap.
Hope you like it.
Signature: aussietrev

Spider Wasp with Crab Spider prey

Hi Trevor,
Thanks for your wonderful photo and your observational account of the incident.  We generally refer to Flower Spiders from the family Tomisidae as Crab Spiders, but that may be a North American preference.  The common name Crab Spider refers to the morphology of the leg structure, with the front legs being the longest, as well as the often sideways means of locomotion commonly used by members of the family.  Flower Spider refers to the habit these spiders have of waiting on blossoms for pollinating insects.  Spider Wasps in the family Pompilidae take nectar as adults, and the wasps are often found on blossoms.  It seems more than a coincidence that this particular Spider Wasp has chosen a Flower Spider as its prey.  It might be deduced that the adult Spider Wasp while feeding may also encounter food for its brood.  We imagine that in some cases, it is the Spider Wasp that is the victim when it encounters a Flower Spider.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Life (and death) in a milkweed patch
December 28, 2010
Location:  Manitoba Birds Hill Provincial Park, Canada
Hi Daniel:
Every July tens of thousands of people descend on Manitoba’s Birds Hill Provincial Park for one of Canada’s, and North America’s, oldest and largest folk festivals (we haven’t missed it for more than 30 years!). In 2006 I discovered the most impressive milkweed patch I have ever seen, wedged between a parking lot and an oak forest, and was thrilled with the abundant and diverse bug life I found there. To my dismay, however, I then watched the patch get systematically destroyed over the next few days as festival goers heedlessly drove and parked all over the patch in an effort to get closer to the shade provided by the adjacent trees. This is generally a ‘green’ crowd so I think it happened more out of ignorance than callousness, but the result was the same. When the same thing happened in 2007 I decided something needed to be done. So I contacted both park and festival staff to plead my case for the protection of this incredible island of diversity, particularly since it is located in the middle of a provincial park.

Milkweed Patch Saved

When we arrived for the 2008 festival I went straight to the patch and was delighted to see the whole area cordoned off, as it has been every year since. Unfortunately, 2008 was one of our coldest wettest summers in recent memory and the milkweeds were barely knee-high and not flowering. The next year was almost as bad, but in 2010 our glorious summer weather returned and the milkweeds were nearly chest high and flowering profusely – and the bug watching was spectacular! The attached photo of what I believe is a Xysticus punctatus Crab Spider finishing off a hapless Monarch caterpillar is one of my favourites from 2010. The other two photos show the milkweed patch after the 2007 festival, and protected in 2010. If you or any of your readers are interested, I have uploaded a collection of photos taken at this location since 2006 (with more to follow next year, I am sure). I am still working on some of the identifications and I am not certain about some of the ones I have inserted, so any comments or suggestions would be welcomed and appreciated. Regards.  Karl

Crab Spider eats Monarch Caterpillar

Hi Karl,
We love hearing how your conservation activism made a difference.  You did not attach any images, so we took the liberty of lifting a few from your web posting.  We might be interested in posting a few more butterflies and dragonflies if you give permission.  We especially love the Milkweed Meadow as an important and diverse ecosystem, and we recently created a unique tag for postings related to Milkweed.

Crab Spider eats Monarch Caterpillar

Thanks for bailing me out Daniel; I forget my attachments all the time. These were the files I was going to send but I am also fine with what you put up (although I suppose they don’t quite match the text).  Go ahead and borrow anything you like, or let me know if you have anything specific in mind. I have thousands of photos that I have been meaning to organize and perhaps upload, but I just haven’t been able to find the time. Perhaps next year.  Have a great new year! K

Destroyed Milkweed Patch in 2007

Thanks for sending additional images Karl.  We have posted the 2007 image with the mutilated Milkweed Patch to accompany the original posting.  We will let you know if we post any of your other wonderful images.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Whats for supper?
Location: Coal Creek, Queens County, New Brunswick
December 9, 2010 5:24 pm
Hi, I found a Goldenrod Crab Spider on a lilac bush with another bug clasped in its jaws. Is the Goldenrod’s prey a Hummingbird Moth? If so do you know what species it is?
Signature: Christophe

Crab Spider eats Hummingbird Clearwing

Hi Christophe,
We went back through some old mail today to try to answer a few questions we did not respond to this past month and we came across you awesome photograph.  We are guessing that this photo was taken some time before it was submitted because lilacs bloom in the spring.  The Crab Spider has captured a much larger Clearwing Moth in the genus
Hemaris, and we believe it is the Hummingbird Clearing, Hemaris thysbe.  You can compare your image to the photographs posted on the Sphingidae of the Americas Website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination