Misumena vatia in love?

Misumena vatia in love?


Here’s a picture I took today. I’m pretty sure the large white spider is a Goldenrod Spider (Misumena vatia). I’m not positive, but I think she is being courted by a male of the same species. Either that, or she is a Goliath being attacked by a David of a different species.

This picture could have been fantastic, as when I first saw this pair, she had a paralyzed honey bee in her jaws. As I got into position to take the picture though, she dropped it 😦

This is the first and only shot I got of this trio cum duo. While I was diddling around with the camera, the spiders dropped down and hid under a leaf (from Aralia nudicaulis if you must know). The flower they are on is a false Solomon’s Seal (Maianthemum racemosa).

The first time I ever saw one of these spiders was sometime last year when I found one on a yarrow flower. The really cool thing about these is that they possess the chameleon-like ability to change color. They are almost impossible to see when they do that, as their color matches the flower they are stalking. They can go from white (like this one) to a deep golden yellow (when they are hunting on say… goldenrod).

Last year and this year, I didn’t see the spider at all when I approached the plant, but rather, I saw their victims (a wasp last year). I will be checking on this girl in the future too, in hopes of getting a really nice photo. But whether I can or not remains to be seen!

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