Visitors 125
Modified 22-Aug-16
Created 22-Aug-16
63 photos

Here are images of crab spiders at the hunt, with some success. The spider sits quietly in a flower, waiting for a foraging insect to venture too close. Then it pounces.

On one lucky day, March 20, 2016, I saw four crab spiders hunting. On Trail 14 near Searsville Lake, a spider lurked on a petal of a chaparral clematis (C. lasiantha, AKA pipestem clematis). Winter ants browsed the flowers, coming close, but apparently not close enough to be caught. I monitored this scene for over two hours, off and on. The spider never moved more than a slight adjustment of its legs; the ants browsed the whole time.

Walking along Trail 14 and up Road E a little, I saw some blue dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum). Three flower heads stood together. Each one had a resident crab spider. These spiders moved much more than their cousin down below, but still stayed motionless for minutes. One captured a flying insect, held it for a long time, then appeared to drop it.

A pale swallowtail butterfly (Papilio eurymedon) visited a flower. The resident crab spider made no move.

Nine days later, 3/29, I revisited these three flowers. A crab spider was still there.
Chaparral Clematis with Crab Spider and Winter AntsCrab Spider and Winter AntsCrab Spider Waits for PreyCrab Spider Waits for Prey (Detail)Crab Spider Still WaitsCloser...Chaparral Clematis with Crab Spider and Winter AntsCrab Spider and Winter AntsCrab Spider and Winter AntsWinter Ant (Prenolepis imparis) on Chaparral Clematis (C. lasiantha)Winter Ant (Prenolepis imparis) on Chaparral Clematis (C. lasiantha)Another Insect on the Clematis FlowerThree Winter Ants (Prenolepis imparis) on Flower of Chaparral Clematis (C. lasiantha)Blue Dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum ssp capitatum) near the ChaparralBlue Dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum ssp capitatum)Insect on Blue Dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum ssp capitatum)Crab Spider (Diaia livens) on Blue Dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum ssp capitatum)Crab Spider (Diaia livens) on Blue Dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum ssp capitatum)Crab Spider (Diaia livens) on Blue Dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum ssp capitatum)Crab Spider with Prey