Whitebanded Crab Spider in Mount Washington

Subject:  Superb spider on my milk weed
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
October 16, 2016 2:21 PM
Hi Daniel,
I can’t believe how long it has been since we spoke.  …
I think you are going to like my yellow and black spider on the bright milkweed.
See you soon.
Hug,
Monique

Whitebanded Crab Spider
Whitebanded Crab Spider

Dear Monique,
This beautiful Crab Spider looks like one of many color variations possible for a female Whitebanded Crab Spider,
Misumenoides formosipes, which we identified thanks to this BugGuide image.  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.”  Crab Spiders in the family Thomisidae do not build webs to snare prey.  They are often found perched on blossoms where they wait for prey to be attracted to the nectar, ambushing the unsuspecting pollinating insects.

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