Crab spider, Huejutla, Hidalgo, México by Eduardo Axel

Picture Story

The crab spider.
Spring has arrived and with it a large number of flowers in the fields, which attract many insects that fulfil various functions, whether as pollinators, predators or prey, which means for nature photographers that we can find a great variety of models to photograph. On this occasion I was able to locate this crab spider literally camouflaged inside a flower of the Holy Thistle (of the genus Cirsium), which was immobile and in an attack position waiting for its next prey. The peculiar thing about this shot is that the flowers of this plant remind me of the tentacles of a marine anemone that protect the fish, in this case the spider, making it go unnoticed by its possible victims, which can be mainly bees, wasps or butterflies. This is a spider of the Misumena genus of the Thomisidae Family and apparently it is a species that has not yet been described according to the specialists that I have been able to consult. Tomisids (Thomisidae) are a family of araneomorphic spiders popularly known as crab spiders, due to the large size of the pairs of legs 1 and 2 and their ability to move laterally, which gives them the appearance of crabs. They possess a powerful poison that they use to immobilize their victims, which helps them to be very effective hunters at catching prey much larger than themselves. So the next time you go to a field of flowers, check very well and surely you will be able to find some of these fascinating spiders.

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