Tag Archives: arachnids

Plant-Insect Interaction: Flower crab spider on a common tansy

Of the approximately 130 species of crab spiders (Araneae: Thomisidae) found in North America, only about 20 are known to regularly inhabit flowers. These ambush predators wait patiently for pollinating insects to move close and then grab them with their long front legs. … Continue reading

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Insect-Arachnid Interaction: Spider wasp with a banded argiope

Like other orb-weaving spiders, banded argiopes (Araneae: Araneidae: Argiope trifasciata) build big, elaborate webs to ensnare the insects that they feed upon. Some insects, however, turn the tables on these large predators. A number of different wasps hunt spiders like these, … Continue reading

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Random Arachnid: Banded argiopes at dawn

Spider webs are far more visible when they’re covered with dew, and this morning I saw scores of them filling the low foliage of a local meadow. Although many different spiders build many different kinds of webs (and some don’t … Continue reading

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Insect-Arachnid Interaction: Slender crab spider feeding on a signal fly

Many spiders build webs and passively wait for prey animals to be ensnared in their traps. Others like crab spiders (Araneae: Thomisidae) don’t build webs, but still passively wait to ambush prey. Some spiders, however, are active predators that stalk … Continue reading

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Random Arachnid: American dog tick

Found throughout eastern North America and parts of the Pacific coast, American dog ticks (Ixodida: Ixodidae: Dermacentor variabilis) are well-known parasites of mammals. After hatching these arachnids go through three life stages from larvae to nymphs to adults. At each … Continue reading

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Plant-Insect-Arachnid Interaction: Crab spider waiting for a meal on a white turtlehead

Several genera of crab spiders (Araneae: Thomisidae) are usually found on flowers, and for good reason. Many flowers attract insect pollinators, so they’re great spots for spiders to ambush prey. I found this particular crab spider hanging out on a … Continue reading

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Random Arachnid: Banded argiope

While walking through a meadow near Clayton, Michigan the other day I came across this impressive banded argiope (Araneae: Araneidae: Argiope trifasciata). Also known as banded garden orbweavers, these large and brightly-colored spiders are widespread throughout the United States. At about … Continue reading

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