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Goldenrod Crab Spider (Misumena vatia)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Goldenrod Crab Spider.

 Updated: 9/10/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




The bright yellow Goldenrod Crab Spider may or may not have red stripes. It stills blends in with the flowers its sits on.



This species of spider uses camouflage as its primary defense as well as offense. It will bite to protect itself as well. Goldenrod Crab Spiders are able to change their coloration over the course of several days in order to blend in better with their surroundings.

They are an ambush spider, jumping on their prey. They do this instead of spinning webs and waiting for something to get tangled. They sit in the center of a flower, preferably a Goldenrod flower which are yellow, and wait for a bee or butterfly on its way to collect pollen to wander in close enough to grab. It uses its very long front pairs of legs to grasp the insect prey then bites it to immobilize it. They are able to grab insects much bigger than themselves with these strong legs (see photos).

Males are a darker yellow-brown with red bands and white on their abdomen. Females are completely white or yellow, and may or may not have red bands, spots or stripes on the abdomen.

A female lays an egg sac, usually under a leaf, and diligently guards it until the spiderlings hatch (in approximately 3 weeks). She dies shortly thereafter.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Thomisidae
          Genus: Misumena
            Species: vatia
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Misumena vatia
Other Name(s): Flower Spider
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 3mm to 9mm (0.12in to 0.35in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: Yellow; red
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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State of Delware graphic
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Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
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Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.




Spider Anatomy
Graphic showing basic parts of spider anatomy
1
Legs: Spiders have four pairs of legs and these are attached to the cephalothorax.
2
Pedipalps: Small appendages near the mouth used as taste and smell organs.
3
Cephalothorax: Contains eyes, head, mouthparts, and legs.
4
Abdomen: Contains various organs related to digestion, reproduction, and web-making.
5
Spinnerets: Used in the production of spider silk for fashioning webs or catching prey.
NOTE: Unlike insects, spiders have both an endoskeleton (internal) and exoskeleton (external).