Caught In A Deadly Trap

Goldenrod Spider Misumena vatia

I have never seen anything quite like this before. A butterfly snared by a crab spider.

Feel free to click to enlarge and click again to get even closer.

July 2019, local field, South Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

33 thoughts on “Caught In A Deadly Trap

  1. Extraordinary. Did you watch for a while to see if the butterfly was able to escape? The butterfly looks to be a large meal if it didn’t get free.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The butterfly was either in a state of complete paralysis from the poison the spider had injected into it, or on its way out and to be food.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That is quite a feat for that crab spider.I have never seen anything like this either.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great picture! I just wanted to say the same when I read your sentences. I wouldn’t have thought that spiders like that would catch a butterfly! Incredible! But that is nature. Fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent capture …. as one might also say to Mrs. Crab Spider.
    I have seen a crab spider with a butterfly( and photos) on one occasion only. But the catch was not as ”fresh” as your shot, Pete.
    I guess they are opportunists and will take whatever they can.
    On saying that, I have one photograph of a hoverfly stationary on the back of a yellow crab spider – I kid you not – and the spider did absolutely nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cheers Ark. I have seen them tackle bumblebees but never thought they went for butterflies until now. They are certainly ferocious predators.

      Ha, that must have been a sight to see … a hoverfly piggy-backing a crab spider!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Weirdly horrifically astonishing! The spider was obviously confident about punching above its weight. Dining out all year on that one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These spiders are very crafty. They sit around all day pretending to be part of the flower, expending very little energy, and when something comes down to drink some sweet nectar they are grabbed and the next meal. Yep, this one sjould last it some time.

      Liked by 1 person

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