Spider that Changes Colors to Look Like a Flower

Crab Spiders can be quite hard to spot, as you can see in the above picture. Unlike many spiders, the Crab Spider does not spin a web and wait for prey to be caught, rather they are hunters. The way that the Crab Spider hunts its prey is through camouflage and imitation to be a part of a flower or plant. In many cases the spider will actually display a bright color of white or yellow in order to look like a flower itself. Therefore they crawl up a plant stem find a good spot for other pollinators to land, and then over a period of a day or two they can change colors to look like the surrounding flowers. They blend in so well, that a bee will land on what they see as a flower, which is actually a Crab Spider waiting for its next meal. They are so adept at camouflage that they even reflect the same ultraviolet wavelength of the flower they are pretending to be. The Crab Spider also can find even more success in areas where flowers may not exist. Pollinators are desperately seeking flowers, so with the ability to look like a flower and reflect the same UV as a flower they would stand out in a field of plants with one lone flower. The one lone flower would be the successful pretender, a Crab Spider waiting for a flying pollinator to land.

The Crab Spider has eight eyes, eight legs, long front legs that extend like crab pincers and powerful fangs to do battle with fierce stinging prey. They also can walk in any direction, including sideways like a crab. Once caught, they inject their prey with venom from their fangs that makes the battle into an easier fight to win and make a delicious meal. The Crab Spider feeds on Bumble Bees, Honey Bees, Wasps, Butterflies, Flies, Mosquitoes and Moths. They are day hunters, although you might not see them very well, due to their camouflage and small size. They are only about ¼” in size, with the female being larger than the male. She is larger in order to carry and produce young, and the male is thought to be smaller in order to move quicker in pursuit of his mate. Once the Crab Spiders have mated, she lays eggs on the wooded floor, spins a cocoon around them and covers them until they hatch. The female stays and protects her eggs for up to three weeks when they hatch. Shortly after the miniature Crab Spiders hatch, the mother dies. Since the babies are hatched as fully formed adults, they shed their skin as they grow in order to reach full size, and begin looking for a mate to start the generation. Generally most of this species mate in the summer, then produce the next generation which on average live one to two years.

The Crab Spider is not aggressive unless threatened, and their bite is not been found to be threatening to humans. So, even though this Crab Spider does help with pest control in your back yard, killing pesky mosquitoes, it is not considered a household pest. However; if you notice other spiders, spider webs, or if the Crab Spider is not controlling your Mosquito population, call Certified Pest Control. Our Local family owned and operated small business is happy to solve any of your Nashville Pest Control issues. We always take our time to give quality, effective services. Choose local; choose Certified Pest Control.

 

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