Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Camouflaged Crab Spider

Crab Spider (c) John Ashley
A Crab Spider, currently white, digesting a captured skipper butterfly.
A white Crab Spider (Misumenops spp.) that hides under the white florets of an Oxeye Daisey is making pretty good use of camouflage. But there's more to it than meets the eye. The females of many species of Crab Spiders can, over several days, change color to match the flower they are hunting from. They might change body color between white, yellow or green, and back again.

Crab spiders don't build webs, even though they can produce silk for other needs. Instead, they are predators that hide from and then pounce upon their small insect prey, such as flies, mosquitoes and moths. Pretty amazing for one of the smaller members of the spider family.