Crab Spider on Thistle

"Crab spider on a thistle in Big Cypress National Preserve"



This photo of a crab spider on a purple thistle was taken in the Big Cypress National Preserve using a Nikon D90 and Nikkor 60mm lens.

Crab spiders or Thomisidae family of the Araneae order. They are called crab spiders because they resemble crabs, with two front pairs of legs angled outward and bodies that are flattened and often angular. Also, like crabs, Thomisidae can move sideways or backward.

Crab spiders do not build webs to trap prey, but are hunters and ambushers. Some species sit on or among flowers, bark, fruit or leaves where they grab visiting insects. Individuals of some species, such as Misumena vatia, are able to change color to match the flower on which they are sitting. Other species, with their flattened bodies, hunt in the crevices of tree trunks or under loose bark. Members of the genus Xysticus hunt in the leaf litter on the ground. In each case, crab spiders use their powerful front legs to grab and hold onto prey while paralyzing it with a venomous bite.

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    17 Thoughts to “Crab Spider on Thistle”

    1. Karen Neuberg

      beautiful capture

    2. Alan S. Hochman

      Thank you Karen.. love the purple thistle, don’t care much for the spider! lol

    3. Marie

      That is a crazy looking crab spider! I agree the flower is a much better sight than the spider. I have had a giant crab spider in my backyard and they are gross, at least this one looks pretty on the flower.

    4. Alan S. Hochman

      Hi Marie, Yes, GROSS is the perfect word! lol

    5. Raymond3333

      Impressive indeed Alan

    6. Robert.Lenny

      Fantastic pictures!

    7. Linda McSchuler

      I love the thistle, AND the spider is perfect. Good eye!

    8. Linda McSchuler

      I, pesonally, love spiders. What fascinating little creatures.

    9. Alan S. Hochman

      Thank you

    10. Anna.Soriota

      Great photos “in the wild”!

    11. Joseph Alsarraf

      That is a pretty scary looking spider.

    12. What an incredible shot. This spider looks translucent. Just amazing!

    13. I’m not a huge fan of bugs, but even though spiders are kind of ooky looking, I know what they do is just so important. I love the shot. Amazing colors!

    14. Alan, I love these crab spiders. I have watched them for hours, catching all sorts of things, including a bee. It was way bigger than the spider but caught nevertheless. My favourites are those that live on the white flowers that blossom only in the spring/summer here in Australia. They appear like little white miracles when the flower bloom and before that, they are brown – like the rest of the bush.
      Your photography is awesome. I love it very much.

    15. Alan S. Hochman

      Lesley, thank you for those kind words!

    16. Teguh Mb

      that is a wonderful pic and amazing shot photography, I love that

    17. Alan S. Hochman

      Much thanks!

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