Montana Public Radio

Flower Crab Spiders

Jun 6, 2014

Flower crab spider (Misumena vatia), camouflaged white on a rose petal.
Credit Dhatier

6/8/14 & 6/9/14: This week on "Fieldnotes:" "Flower Crab Spiders," by Sara Mintz.

"Flower crab spiders are wait-and-grab predators that feed on bees, flies, moths, and other pollinating insects. The female spider sits on a flower, forelegs outstretched, waiting to catch any insects that take advantage of the flower's nectar reward. These spiders are capable of changing their color to blend in with the flower they're hunting on, so that bees approach unaware of any danger. Some species of flower crab spiders emulate the markings that flowers use to guide pollinators to their rewards, drawing in their prey even more effectively."