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Content tagged with "crab spider"

Photo of a swift crab spider, female.

Foliage Flower Spiders

Mecaphesa spp. and Misumessus spp.
The more obvious differences between foliage crab spiders and other flower crab spiders is that these generally are smaller, and their carapaces, abdomens, and legs are spiny.

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Photo of ridge-faced flower crab spider on daisy-family flower

Ridge-Faced Flower Spider

The ridge-faced flower spider is a small, whitish or yellowish crab spider commonly found in flower heads. Often its carapace is marked with a brownish-yellow V, converging toward the carapace and made up of various spots or stripes.

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Photo of ridge-faced flower crab spider on daisy-family flower

Ridge-Faced Flower Spider

Misumenoides formosipes
This small, whitish-yellow or yellowish-brown crab spider is commonly found in flower heads. Often its carapace is slightly greenish, with a broad whitish-yellow midband bordered by darker, thinner sides of yellowish-brown.

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Photo of a ridge-faced flower crab spider in center of flower

Ridge-Faced Flower Spider Waiting For Prey

Like other crab spiders, ridge-faced flower spiders don't build webs to net their prey; instead, they wait quietly on flowers and ambush insects as they come for nectar and pollen.

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Photo of a smooth flower crab spider, yellow individual, on ox-eye daisy flower

Smooth Flower Crab Spider

Misumena vatia
Smooth flower crab spiders are often confused with other crab spiders. They can change color from white to yellow, depending upon the blossoms they are inhabiting. The female often has an orange or reddish stripe running along each side of the abdomen, extending from the front to about halfway down the side.

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Photo of a female smooth flower crab spider on goldenrod flower clusters.

Smooth Flower Crab Spider

Smooth flower crab spiders lurk among yellow or white flowers, waiting to snag insects, in prairies, flower fields, and mixed grasslands. This female, resting among goldenrod blossoms, shows why this species is sometimes called the "goldenrod spider."

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Photo of a smooth flower crab spider, whitish individual, on native aster flower

Smooth Flower Crab Spider On Aster Flower

The female has a white or yellow carapace, darkening somewhat toward the edges, without spines. The eye region can be marked red, as the yellow-white abdomen often is, with two separate stripes extending midway around the perimeter of the abdomen.

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Photo of a smooth flower crab spider, yellow individual, on ox-eye daisy flower

Smooth Flower Crab Spider On Ox-Eye Daisy

Smooth flower crab spiders have some capacity to change color from white to yellow, depending upon the blossoms they are inhabiting. They don't use webs to capture their prey; instead, they hide in flowers and wait for insects to fly or crawl to them. Crab spiders often look like part of the flowers they inhabit.

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Photo of a swift crab spider, female, from above.

Swift Crab Spider (Mecaphesa celer)

The swift crab spider, Mecaphesa celer, has many spiny hairs covering the top of its body and legs, and it often has a light pinkish-tan cast.

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Photo of a swift crab spider, female.

Swift Crab Spider (Mecaphesa celer)

The more obvious differences between foliage crab spiders and other flower crab spiders is that these generally are smaller, and their carapaces, abdomens, and legs are spiny.

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