Plant-Insect-Arachnid Interaction: Flower crab spider waiting for a meal on a roughleaf dogwood

Crab spider (family Thomisidae, probably of the genus Mecaphesa) waiting for prey on a roughleaf dogwood (Cornus drummondii, Cornaceae). Photographed 06/16/2011 near Blissfield Michigan.

I often come across crab spiders (family Thomisidae) whenever I’m looking at flowers, and I’ve written about them twice before.  Last fall I found one waiting for prey on a daisy fleabane, and last month I found one that had caught a flower fly on a cutleaf toothwort.  The individual shown here was patiently waiting for a meal on a roughleaf dogwood (Cornus drummondii, Cornaceae).  As with the other two spiders, I suspect this individual was of the genus Mecaphesa.

Crab spider (family Thomisidae, probably of the genus Mecaphesa) waiting for prey on a roughleaf dogwood (Cornus drummondii, Cornaceae). Photographed 06/16/2011 near Blissfield Michigan.

There were a lot of soldier beetles (family Cantharidae) crawling around on these flowers.  One kept getting close to this spider, and I was holding my breath hoping to see the spider attack.  The beetle moved on, however, and so did I.

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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 roughleaf dogwood

  1. I’ve noticed many crab spiders that are well camouflaged on flowers, but last month I found one that was “anti-camouflaged.” You can see a picture at

    http://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com/?s=predation

    The spider and its prey had first been on the bracts of the sunflower, but even there the red of the spider didn’t match the green of the bracts. I suspect that the spider had been hiding between or behind the bracts, where its color wouldn’t have stood out.

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  2. Jeremy Sell says:

    Perhaps your spider WANTS to attract attention. In order to locate flowers, bees are attracted to the UV light flowers reflect and not the visible light we enjoy. The coloration of this spider may reflect UV light and attract bee prey.

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  3. Pingback: Insect Love: Jagged ambush bugs | The Life of Your Time

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