Goldenrod Crab Spider
( Misumena vatia )


2014-0420-EB550148-ARA00368-Misumena_vatia[1431h30s,F,A,plant-leaf]{EXD}-G.jpg

PHOTO COMMENT

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Misumena vatia
(Clerck, 1757)
Common Name:Goldenrod Crab Spider
Life Stage:(A) adult

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Arachnida
Order:Araneae
Family:Thomisidae
Genus:Misumena
Taxon Code:ARA00368
ITIS/TSN:883786

LOCATION DETAILS
Location Name
Tilden Regional Park, Tilden Regional Park, Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley
County:Alameda County
ECI Site#:CAEB550000
Park/Forest Code:Tilden Regional Park

RECOGNITION
Description
Misumena: All four anterior (front) eyes are about the same size. When viewed from the front, and a little above, it seems all eight eyes are visible and form a crescent shape. The lateral eyes are on tubercles, but the posterior laterals are visible. See Misumenoides: All four anterior (front) eyes are about the same size. When viewed from the front, and a little above, only six eyes are visible. The posterior laterals are facing sideways and are on the ends of a long horizontal transverse ridge across the face. Eric says Misumena has essentially no black markings (while Misumenoides may have some), which is how you can tell them apart in the field most easily. See Mecaphesa: The anterior lateral eyes are a little larger than the anterior median eyes. When viewed from the front, and a little above, only six eyes are visible. The posterior laterals are facing sideways and backwards on tubercles that include the anterior laterals. Mecaphesa is also often hairy. Female: Carapace white to yellow with sides darker. Eye area often tinged with red. Abdomen same color as carapace, sometimes with no markings, but otherwise with a red band on both sides. Legs are light colored. Male: Carapace red to reddish-brown, with white spot in center going to eyes and clypeus. First two pairs for legs are reddish brown, the others yellow. Abdomen has pair of dorsal and lateral red bands on a white background. They come in various colors: Sometimes camouflaged: The male is much smaller than the female: They wait in flowers in ambush.
Body Length
Female: 6-9mm. Male: 2.9-4mm.
Similar Taxa
Whitebanded Crab Spider (Misumenoides formocipes)

BIOLOGY
This Crab Spider has the ability to change colors depending on its environment. It can be yellow or white. Crab Spiders are very common on flowers, and may be spotted feeding upon a butterfly or bee it has attracted. The spider uses mimicry, appearing to be a flower, with its legs outstretched. Crab Spiders have a relatively powerful venom that subdues prey quickly. It does not build and cannot rely on webbing to disable prey.

CREDITS
Photographer
Eddie Dunbar
Insect Sciences Museum of California

References
Species Misumena vatia - Goldenrod Crab Spider. (http://bugguide.net/node/view/6751). Accessed July 15, 2016. .
ITIS.


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