Plant-Insect-Arachnid Interaction: Flower crab spider waiting for a meal on a daisy fleabane

Flower crab spider (family Thomisidae) waiting for a delicious insect to approach this eastern daisy fleabane flower (Erigeron annuus). Photographed 09/17/2010 near Manitou Beach Michigan.

Although there are nine genera of crab spiders (family Thomisidae), only three of them are known to inhabit flowers.  The spider above is probably among these three:  either Misumena, Misumenoides, or Mecaphesa.  A clear view of the eyes would be required to positively identify the genus.  Since there are only a few known species of Misumena and Misumenoides in this area, however, it’s likely that this is of the genus Mecaphesa.

Spiders in these genera sit patiently on flowers, waiting to ambush pollinating insects or other insects that happen to get too close.  This spider has chosen an eastern daisy fleabane (Erigeron annuus, Asteraceae) as its hunting spot.

With their long front legs and potent venom, these spiders can bring down prey much larger than themselves.  I came across some great pictures of these spiders taking down crane flies, bumble bees, butterflies, and dragonflies.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, Ecology, Entomology, Organism Interactions and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Plant-Insect-Arachnid Interaction: Flower crab spider waiting for a meal on a daisy fleabane

  1. Pingback: Plant-Insect-Arachnid Interaction: Flower crab spider devouring a flower fly that was pollinating a cutleaf toothwort | The Life of Your Time

  2. Katy Marie says:

    May I use this photo in a short presentation on Erigerons? I tried the website, but I couldn’t get through. There is one other photo of an insect on an Erigeron that I would also like to use. The 15 slide powerpoint will be posted on the website for the Houston Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas. Thank you for your consideration.

    Like

  3. Jeremy Sell says:

    Please direct permission inquiries to jeremy at volitek dot com.

    Like

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