Crab Spider

Misumena ?

a crab spider, Thomisidae, from Iten, Kenya. Photo © by Michael Plagens

This spider is positioned on a yellow ray floret of African Bush Daisy. Elgeyo Escarpment near Iten, Kenya. July 2014.

The first two pair of legs are rotated into a forward-facing position and aid in the capture and securing of prey. Crab spiders capture prey without the use of a sticky web. Instead they sit-and-wait at a prime spot for encountering insects; this spider has selected a composites ray flower. Insect pollinators visiting a composite often alight on a welcoming ray, then walk towards the disc florets and the pollen and nectar. After the spider delivers a quick, lethal bite the spiny legs hold the insect in place while it takes effect.

Thomisidae -- Crab Spider Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens. Page created 11 November 2014.