Crab Spider with Prey, Durham, North Carolina, USA by Nicolas Devos

Picture Story

You do not need to travel to far-flung places to photograph predators. Spiders in your own backyard are fierce, calculating predators and make great subjects to photograph in action.
Crab spiders belong to a large family of over two thousand species. They do not build webs but instead sit on flowers waiting for an unsuspecting insect like a fly, a bee, a butterfly to get to striking distance.
The lock-down in my state in the spring of 2020 gave me an opportunity to spend some quality time observing all the animals in the wildflower garden I had sown along the side of my house the year before. I was surprised by the diversity of insects and other arthropods I found. One afternoon I noticed a crab spider that, waiting in ambush on one of the purple cone flowers, had caught a fly. I liked the color contrast of the white spider with the purple of the flower and the juxtaposition of all the elements in the scene, so I ran into the house and grabbed my camera and a flash that I keep at the ready and took a few shots.

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