Goldenrod Spider

Misumena vatia

Sometimes called the ‘Flower Spider’, the female of the species maybe yellow, white, or green depending which flower it is on. The stripes on the abdomen and thorax can also be variable, again making the best of its camouflage. The male is less variable, has a brown carapace, a buff-coloured abdomen, and longer legs. Body length Females 9-11mm, males 3-4mm.

This spider can change its colour to blend in with its surroundings, particularly flower heads on which it sits in wait for other insects, particularly flies, bees and butterflies to feed, before the spider grabs it with its long legs to feed upon it.

The adults are seen April to July. Found in flowery places such as meadows and gardens. Reasonably common in the south, less so in Wales and rare in Scotland.

Photographs taken May and June 2014 and April 2015, rear garden, Staffordshire. A bumblebee came buzzing around at the time I took these photos and prompted the spider to get ready to strike. And yep, they really do catch bees, and also butterflies, beetles and other nectar-loving insects who happen to pick the wrong flower to feed from. I also saw it hanging and spread across the tubular opening of the foxglove hoping to catch something as it was trying to enter!

2 thoughts on “Goldenrod Spider

  1. Great closeup shots. I especially like the one that shows all the eyes. Across the pond where I live we call them crab spiders, for their rapid sideways movement and big “claws”.

    Liked by 1 person

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