What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  spider on black swallowtail
Geographic location of the bug:  Auburn, California
Date: 04/17/2019
Time: 01:08 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I thought this was a cool image of a spider incapacitating a black swallowtail. This was along a trail, near the flowers the butterfly was feeding on. Maybe a crab spider? Enjoy!
How you want your letter signed:  k. cassidy

Crab Spider eats Pipevine Swallowtail

Dear k. cassidy,
This is an awesome image.  We agree that this is a Crab Spider.  Crab Spiders do not build webs to snare prey.  Many species, especially pastel colored, pink, yellow or white Crab Spiders, are camouflaged in blossoms where they wait to ambush pollinating prey like bees and butterflies.  Your Swallowtail is actually a Pipevine Swallowtail.  Did you witness the Crab Spider capture the Pipevine Swallowtail?  If not, was the Swallowtail still alive when you encountered this awesome Food Chain illustration, though interestingly, this is not the first time we have received documentation of a Crab Spider eating a Pipevine Swallowtail.

yes, love the pipevine swallowtails this time of year (here they like the lilac and brodiaea best). I did not see it in the capturing phase, but this butterfly was still alive though incapacitated. Seemingly big prey, but the spider had him for sure! This is in the Auburn State Recreation Area along the American River in Northern California.
Thanks for the ink to the other crab spider catching a pipevine! I didn’t see that when I first searched.
Enjoy and share the image!
thanks,
kerrie
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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Auburn, California

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