Subject: Small pink beetle
Geographic location of the bug: Nairobi kenya
Time: 06:14 AM EDT
At first we thought this was a spider but only 6 legs are visible. It blends in well with our purple and pink flowers. Have you ever seen a pink beetle before? Thanks so much!
How you want your letter signed: Denise
This is not a beetle. It is a Crab Spider in the family Thomisidae. Crab Spiders do not build webs. Crab Spiders are sometimes called Flower Spiders because they are frequently found on blossoms where they wait for prey. Like the pink individual in your images, Crab Spiders are often brightly colored to blend in with the colors of the blossoms, effectively camouflaging them while they wait to ambush prey that visits the flowers. We believe your individual is in the genus Thomisus. According to Biodiversity Explorer: “Thomisus is able to undergo white to yellow or pink colour changes depending on the flower they are sitting on. This colour change facilitates camouflage on flower ambush sites and is completed within 2 days. While colour patterns are species specific, colours can vary. Not all species have this colour changing ability as some species occur on bark or among grass seeds and thus are a cryptic brown. The first and second pairs of legs are noticeably longer and thicker than the last 2 pairs and are used for prey capture. The abdomen is triangular in shape, being widest posteriorly. The lateral eyes are situated on tubercles.” Your images are awesome.
Thank you for your amazingly fast reply!
What an amazing spider! We are so happy to know those interesting facts about the Crab Spider, especially that is has color changing capacities. Incredible!
Thanks so much,