David Element

 

Wildlife Photography and Digital Video Images

 

________ _____________________________________________________ Arachnoids 10 Flower Spiders

 

 

 

A close up of a flower

Description automatically generated

 

FLOWER SPIDER Misumena vatia (f)

 

A close up of a flower

Description automatically generated

 

FLOWER SPIDER Misumena vatia (f)

 

A close up of a flower

Description automatically generated

 

FLOWER SPIDER Misumena vatia (f)

 

A picture containing table, food, sitting, piece

Description automatically generated

 

FLOWER SPIDER Misumena vatia (f)

 

A close up of a flower

Description automatically generated

 

FLOWER SPIDER Misumena vatia (f)

 

A piece of food

Description automatically generated

 

FLOWER SPIDER Misumena vatia (f)

 

A picture containing sitting, small, table, food

Description automatically generated

 

FLOWER SPIDER Misumena vatia (f)

 

A close up of a flower

Description automatically generated

 

FLOWER SPIDER Misumena vatia (f)

 

A close up of a flower

Description automatically generated

 

FLOWER SPIDER Misumena vatia (f)

 

A close up of a bug

Description automatically generated

 

FLOWER SPIDER Misumena vatia (f)

 

A insect on the ground

Description automatically generated

 

FLOWER SPIDER Misumena vatia (f)

 

A close up of a green leaf

Description automatically generated A pile of green plants

Description automatically generated

 

FLOWER SPIDER Misumena vatia (f) FLOWER SPIDER Misumena vatia (f)

 

A insect on the ground

Description automatically generated

 

FLOWER SPIDER Misumena vatia (f)

 

A close up of a flower

Description automatically generated

 

FLOWER SPIDER Misumena vatia (f)

 

 

FLOWER SPIDER Misumena vatia (m)

 

 

FLOWER SPIDER Misumena vatia (m)

 

 

FLOWER SPIDER Misumena vatia (m)

 

         The Flower Spider Misumena vatia is a crab spider (they can move sideways) belonging to the family Thomisidae. There are no likely confusion species in the UK although the colour and patterning are variable, as may be confirmed by just a perfunctory look at the illustrations on this page. The females will lie in wait on flower heads waiting to ambush unwitting insects, usually having elected to hide on flowers of the same colour as themselves so that they are more difficult for potential prey items to see. The appearance to human eyes is cryptic and many of these spiders may therefore escape our attention. However, our vision is very different from that of the view of the world perceived by insects through their compound eyes (extending beyond the visible spectrum into the ultra-violet) and they are easily entrapped as the spiders are essentially rendered invisible when seen through the eyes of a bee. Therefore, they may be recognised too late by their victims for any evasive action to be taken. The body colour of M. vatia may be changed (principally from white to yellow) by secreting a yellow pigment or from yellow to white by excreting it but the process is a slow one and the colour(s) cannot be suddenly altered. Prey items are grabbed with the longer and rather spiny front two pairs of legs and then bitten to immobilise them with venom before secreting digestive juices and sucking out the contents of their hapless victims. The males of this species are much smaller than the females. Doubtless mating is a risky process and the correct signals would need to be given by a male when approaching a female to avoid inadvertently contributing to her diet! Some of the photographs were taken in France. There is some irony in the identity of one of the victims having been a Spider-hunting Wasp Priocnemis perturbator, a case of the biter bit!

 

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David Element