Misumena vatia (It’s Spiders!)

Aaargth! It’s another white one!

Misumena vatiaThis Spider is driving me nuts.

This is Misumena vatia. In Britain we call it the Crab Spider but in North America where the Goldenrod grows it is known as the Goldenrod Spider or simply the Flower Spider.

This spider is an ambush predator, it hides on flower heads and waits for it’s prey to arrive.

It has the ability to change colour to match the flower it is hiding on and they do come in beautiful golden yellow. All I ever find is white ones.

Misumena vatia

Misumena vatia(Well they can’t do pink, obviously)

The closest that I have ever come to a golden spider was in May of last year. This one does look a little bit jaundiced.

Misumena vatia

Misumena vatiaI have tried taking them and placing them on a yellow flower but they don’t change colour for me they just run away.

I suppose the thing to do would be to get myself a nice yellow pot plant and keep it in a cage on my windowsill and then add spiders. (I am probably going to do that next)

I don’t feel qualified to write about Misumena vatia without being able to show it’s amazing colour changing abilities.

Yesterday I found a white one.

Misumena vatiaIt wanted to embrace me and I thought Β well, why not?

Misumena vatia So I offered it the hand of friendship.

Misumena vatia I sympathise with everybody who has a fear of Spiders.

It isn’t an irrational fear, it is a very sensible fear. All over the world there are Spiders that can give you a very painful bite and some that can kill you. Everybody should have an instinctive fear of spiders.

A lot of people in Β Britain have this same fear so I think that it must be imprinted within us from birth, some primitive memory passed on genetically.

There are no dangerous spiders in Britain, very, very few have strong enough mouth parts to even pierce human skin. (The Natural History Museum has a short list of those that can, if you want to worry about it UK Spider Bites πŸ™‚ )

Misumena vatiaThis beautiful lady won’t bite me. This one is a female, the males are tiny, only about 5mm across and that is another challenge for me, find a male spider)

Misumena vatiaAnyway I can’t pinch this one. It wouldn’t have been the hand of friendship if I intended to abduct the creature, it would have been a trick. I will put it back now.

Misumena vatia

Misumena vatiaAnyway, I haven’t got my yellow flower yet.

Misumena vatia Take care little animal.Misumena vatia

31 thoughts on “Misumena vatia (It’s Spiders!)”

    1. Thank you John πŸ™‚ I sometimes think that I shouldn’t write about spiders because I know that just seeing a photograph can upset some people, such is our ingrained fear of the beasts. Unfortunately I was one of those schoolboys who would chase the girls around the playground with the green spiderlike top of a tomato in my hand. Happy days πŸ™‚ I have grown up a bit since then but spiders are real and so they do have to be on the blog. We are lucky that in the UK spiders are pretty harmless πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you Joey πŸ™‚ No, your opinion is very sensible and even applies to me here in the UK. I don’t mess about with things that I cannot identify. If I don’t know what it is then I take it’s photograph from as many angles as I can get and then I find out what it is for next time.

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    1. Thank you Emily πŸ™‚ They do attack honey bees, butterflies, and grasshoppers but also a lot of flies. They attack by first injecting venom to immobilise and sometimes kill their prey and I am afraid that if you found one struggling with a bee then it would probably already be too late to help the bee. The honey bee isn’t a major part of their diet though and they are also removing the bee’s competitors. I doubt that they have much impact on bee population. Anyway I think that your feelings are right. I live on a farm and think that anyone who keeps livestock has a responsibility and duty to protect their animals πŸ™‚

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  1. Glad you like spiders – I adore them, and we have some real goodies in Australia. I adore them nonetheless … and snakes … and sharks … and – heck, they’re all fabulous. Once you know their likely behaviour (through identifying them and then researching them) you can stop doing what scares them and they are less likely to threaten/sting/bite/eat you. πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you Joy πŸ™‚ and whoops! I answered Jane before I saw your comment. England is such an easy place to live but sometimes a bit boring. We have to make up things to be afraid of and that isn’t good. We have a long history of killing our snakes for instance when they are only trying to escape us and don’t pose any real threat. I totally agree with you about understanding the animal. I have been photographing bees, wasps and hornets for as long as I can remember and have never been stung (Since childhood) They are simply busy working and have no interest in us so long as we don’t interfere with them. Horse flies are mean though, they hunt us πŸ™‚

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  2. We have a few dangerous spiders in Australia – funnel web, red-back are two. I’m always careful of them, however, in general I actually love looking at spiders and photographing them. I often see huge golden orb weavers and St Andrews Cross spiders on my wanders. Jumping spiders are so tiny but when blown up on the computer screen look very impressive. I do like your white spider but hope you’re able to see them change to yellow at some point. Colour change is rather fascinating to observe, isn’t it? Thanks for the info and photos, Colin.

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    1. Thank you Jane πŸ™‚ You have some wonderful spiders in Australia. I read once that when travelling in Australia you should just assume that everything is trying to kill you. If I lived out there I would be scared to let my children out of the house, ever. If you can cope with them spiders can be very beautiful and fascinating. I want to get one of these on a yellow flower and photograph the change from white to yellow πŸ™‚

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  3. I love these little spiders. I haven’t seen any this year yet but I haven’t looked carefully. Next week is the first week of Elinor’s summer holiday and I will have more time for being outside. I can’t wait! Lovely post Colin.

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    1. Thank you Clare πŸ™‚ They seem to like quite big flower heads, I often find them on Buddleia for instance, lots of places to hide there. strangely I find quite a few on stinging nettles, that is probably just because I tend to look closely at the nettles, there is always something on them. Enjoy the holidays πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you Andrew πŸ™‚ I find it quite difficult to get Fizz interested in entomology, she seems to notice butterflies and the occasional extra loud bumblebee but that is about it. It is a good job really, she sits on the flowers that I am photographing, I would be quite annoyed if she ate the invertebrates too πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you Emilio πŸ™‚ Those are great photographs. Ah but it is only the little pink markings that some of them have, They can’t turn their bodies pink. I haven’t seen any with those markings here, though I have seen photographs and they do exist around here. Mine remain stubbornly white.

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      1. I thought you were referring to the markings. I’ve never seen any turn their bodies anything but white. The markings were different on different spiders, but perhaps it is the fact they are different spiders that it is so.

        Thanks for the clarification.

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      2. In North America it is known also known as the Goldenrod Spider and can be found on your native Solidago. Then it is a bright golden yellow colour but this spider has Chameleon like properties and can change colour to match the flower it is on. I want to find a white one, put it on a yellow flower and photograph the transformation πŸ™‚

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    2. I had identified it correctly as a Goldenrod spider but have never seen it turn yellow/gold. Then again. I’m not sure I’ve seen it on a yellow flower. I will have to keep an eye out for it.

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  4. Kind of cute as spiders go. I found a white one the other day, I guess they don’t need to be yellow until August when the goldenrod blooms.
    My favorite spider is the black jumping spider, they have the cutest set of 4 shiny black eyes!

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    1. Thank you Eliza πŸ™‚ Spiders do have wonderful arrangements of eyes. I have considered getting myself a decent DSLR just for macro work, just to get a bit closer to them. A variety of things put me off. The expense but also I don’t want to carry lots of gear around with me, I already have to carry a bag full of spare balls and water for my assistant. Also I don’t want to price what I do out of the range of some people. It is important that anyone can do this, all that you really need is the interest πŸ™‚

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      1. I think that is very thoughtful of you. One can really do some heavy spending when it comes to cameras. I would love a lens that can capture birds, but USD1,000 is a bit much! And like you, I prefer to travel lightly.

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      2. Thanks Eliza πŸ™‚ I have a friend who takes amazing pictures of birds in flight and one day I thought to myself that I would like to do that. He carries a variety of lenses and when I started looking them up, the cheapest one was Β£7000 and he had much bigger ones. I just decided that I couldn’t compete in that world and it is not the sort of photography that I do. I am just a happy snapper πŸ™‚ I like the work that these people do but that is more like art and I am into learning and discovery.

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