Posts Tagged ‘crab spider’

Wonders Never Cease

 Common Milkweed

Four common milkweed plants grow beside the back garage (which will be torn down this summer).

A few insects visit the flowers,

and a white crab spider hides on the underneath side of one of the leaves. The spider can change colors to match the color of the flower it’s on.

A Passing Spicebush Swallowtail

So few butterflies have visited our backyard this summer. Their numbers have been the lowest I’ve ever seen.

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So, I got excited when a spicebush swallowtail flew across our backyard on its way south. It didn’t stop.

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Our yard’s been full of them at times over the years … them and many other butterfly species too.

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A butterfly in an odd position usually means it’s in the clutches of a predator.

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In this case it was a female crab spider.

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Females are much bigger than the males.

Crab spiders have the ability to change color to match the color of the flower they’re on. Obviously, this one hadn’t changed yet. I have no idea how long the change takes.

Predation

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Crab spiders have the ability to change color to match that of the flower they’re on. In this case, it’s among wingstem flowers. This is a female crab spider. Males are much smaller.

Her prey looks like a tachina fly.

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Here’s another example of predation:

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I blogged this chrysalis earlier this summer. It was attached to the side of our garbage container.

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It belonged to a tawny emperor butterfly.

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A couple of weeks later another chrysalis was attached to the side of the container. I knew it was parasitized when it started turning dark.

Then came even another predator.

Braided! How?

My camera always accompanies me when I’m out in the yard. I had been taking pictures of this and that.

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Then I found this daisy fleabane (Erigeron annuus). Its lower petals looked like they had been braided into a half circle. The shape was just too deliberate looking to have had happened naturally.

What would’ve positioned those petals like that? What was the reason? (To make me curious?)

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A crab spider was all I found on the small cluster of the flowers.

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The flowers were past their peak by the next evening. The”braided” area still remained roughly the same.

I just noticed another crab spider in the lower flower head on the left.

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The two flower heads in the center created a cute enclosure … it would be a good place to “camp” or hide from predators if you were a tiny insect or spider.

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A tiny bee took advantage of the fresh flower head for an evening snack.

The “braided” petals still remain an unsolved mystery. Maybe I’ll learn more with future encounters … which would probably be next year, since the daisy fleabanes are almost done blooming.

Crab Spider

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Crab spiders come in different sizes, with females being the largest.

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The angle of the sunlight made this one easy to spot.

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Shadows later made it much less conspicuous.

Yard Walk-about

Insect numbers have increased lately.

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I’m not sure what a short-horned grasshopper found interesting on the sedum.

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If you look close on the right of the two front petals, you’ll find a small plant hopper.

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Apparently something tried to capture this pearl crescent butterfly.

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A slug slowly made its way around to the back side of the leaf.

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 The  dragonfly sure didn’t pick an attractive perch.

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The crab spider looked like part of the leaf from a distance.

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I couldn’t see through the silk to see if there was either an egg mass or larvae on the white dogwood leaf.

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The spider that spun the nest is to the left partly under the long strands of silk.

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A hanging insect  — in this case a skipper — can mean either a crap spider or ambush bug. From what little that shows, it has to be an ambush bug.

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A moth waiting patiently for the night.

A Fancy Crab Spider

A crab spider’s small size makes them easy to overlook,

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especially with their ability to change color to match the flowers they’re on.

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This one seems to have a creative streak, when it comes to designing its attire.

They are called crab spiders because of their legs being similar to those of crabs. The male is smaller than the female.