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

Crab Spider? eating a skipper?
Location: Charleston, SC
September 19, 2011 12:15 pm
This was photographed just outside of Charleston, SC in a monastery called Mepkin Abbey. I found these two in small purple flowers growing along one of their many paths.
Signature: Steven

Crab Spider Eats Skipper

Hi Steven,
Your photo of a Crab Spider in the family Thomisidae feeding on a Skipper in the family Hesperiidae is an excellent addition to our Food Chain tag.  This is at least the fourth entry we have received documenting this particular predator/prey combination.  Crab Spiders are hunting spiders that do not spin a web, and several species are typically found hiding well camouflaged in blossoms awaiting hapless pollinating insects including Skippers.  Skippers are butterflies that are typically considered to be a transitional family between butterflies and moths, and they get their common name from their quick, darting flight.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Spider eating bee
Location: Vancouver Island BC Canada
August 1, 2011 3:34 pm
My friend in Mill Bay on Vancouver Island, BC Canada took this picture this morning on his daisies. A voracious little white spider that is enormously successful capturing and killing other insects. What is this spider’s name?
Signature: Sharon J

Crab Spider Eats Bee

Hi Sharon,
The scientific name for your spider is
Misumena vatia, and it has several common names, including Crab Spider because of its general shape, and Flower Spider because of its habit of waiting on flowers for pollinating insects.  Crab Spiders are able to change color to match their surroundings, and your white Crab Spider blends perfectly with the white petals of the blossom.

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