The crab spider will just sit still near the center of the flower, doing it’s best to blend in. When an unsuspecting insect lands to gather pollen, the snatches it and lunch is served.
You can get even closer to the action by clicking on the photo. A larger version will open in a new browser tab.
Danger lurks here! When I took this photo on a walk through the woods, I saw only a nice collection of wild violets. It wasn’t until I viewed this image on my computer that I noticed the tiny crab spider hiding in the bloom on the left.
Crab spiders don’t make webs. They hide, often in flowers, waiting for unsuspecting insects to be drawn by the flower’s nectar or pollen.
I’ve posted photos of crab spiders before – even with a short video of one trying grab lunch – that can be viewed HERE.
To view a larger image of this photo, click on it.
This is kind of a beauty-and-the-beast image. The Dianthus flowers in our yard caught my eye. As I moved in to take the shot, the little crab spider made himself known. I didn’t see him until I was right on top of him. I backed off…then moved in…then backed off…then moved in. When I moved in, he would take an aggressive stance. When I backed off, he would relax. Whatever his strategy was, it must have worked well since, judging by the girth of his tiny frame, I’d say he hadn’t missed any meals.
This photo was taken several years ago with my old Kodak camera. A little “vintage” Pops Digital for you.
For a closer look, click on the photo.
While photographing wildflowers I noticed yellow spiders hiding among the foliage. I believe they are in the crab spider family. They seemed to be waiting for prey to come by. That was, in fact, the case. (See some of my previous posts.)
I’d been photographing these yellow spiders on purple thistles. Then I noticed a similar spider on a yellow flower. While I was taking his picture, a soldier beetle landed on the flower. I wondered what would happen.
After taking a few photos, I decided to switch to taking video. I remembered nature films I’d seen where an alligator snatches an unsuspecting antelope that stopped for a drink. I thought this, on a decidedly smaller scale, might provide the same kind of drama.
I only got a short, six seconds of video. It looked like the solider beetle bumped into the spider and then flew off. Not too dramatic. However, when I slowed the video down, it turns out it was a much closer call than I originally thought.
Watch the video below and pay particular attention to the slow motion footage. When slowed down, you can see the spider actually grabs the leg of the soldier beetle in its jaws. The beetle is able to pull away before the spider can get a better hold. The best way to view it is to click the full-screen icon in the lower right corner of the video box.
Click on the photo at the top to see a lager version.
I discovered yellow spiders hiding among the the thistles. I assumed they were waiting for unsuspecting prey. I took some photos, downloaded them to my computer and posted them to this blog under the title Dangerously Alluring Beauty.
As you can see, a small bee, buzzing from flower to flower, attracted by the thistle, received an instant invitation to lunch.
The image on the right is the same scene from a different angle.
I wish I had hung around long enough to catch the action live. However, it just so happens, when I finished photographing this carnage, I noticed a similar yellow spider, poised with arms open wide, waiting for a its meal on a yellow flower. Then a bug came along. I started snapping pictures. The bug walked around the flower until it finally came face to face with the spider…and then…
You’ll have to watch for those images in a future post to see how it turned out.
To view larger versions of either of these photos, just click on them.
I went for another walk in the Missouri woods with my camera and noticed something new among the thistles.
If you look closely at the image above, it looks like some of the thistle is twisted in strands to the side – giving the spider easier access to any prey that might land on the top of the flower. Is the spider smart enough to make an easier path to the kill or is it just a naturally occurring coincidence? I wonder.
The photo to the right show another spider snugly tucked deep in the strands of the thistle. Waiting…waiting…waiting…
Now that I look at them, maybe I should have waited to see and document what happens. It might have taken a long time with me just a few inches from the blossoms. The spiders are more patient than I am.
You can get a closer look at either photo by simply clicking on them.