Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Flora IT'S A TRAP!

I went to pick my love a rose...
I gathered a couple, but stopped at one flower because it had a bee in it. On second glance, the bee was not moving and sort of lying sideways. It was only on the third glance that I saw why I shouldn't pick that particular blossom:
I think these guys, crab spiders (probably Misumena spp) are terrific. If you're lucky you can find one lurking in a flower, because they make it difficult--they can assume the color of the flower they're hiding in.

These guys are ambush predators, and are fierce. No webs, just a lunge and a grab and a dose of venom. They do pretty well. I've been watching this one for a week now, and as one blossom dies, it moves to another; I've seen it on three different blooms, and each time it's been happily sucking on a honeybee or one of the native bees. My mom's experience is that they will bite you if you stick a finger in their flower, but this one has been kind of shy--as I approach it, it shuffles sideways to the underside of the bloom.
The roses won't be blooming that much longer, so I wonder where this spider will go next.

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