Photo Of The Month: Pink flower crab spider by Christian Brockes
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Christian Brockes from Germany

The flower crab spider (Thomisus onustus) is a fascinating species, as it is able to change its color! It can be found in a white, yellow and pink form, while the pink form, which you can see here, is easily the most spectacular one, showing not only a plain color, but an exciting stripe pattern as well. The yellow and white form does not have these stripes.
The spiders wait on flowers for bees, and other flying prey, which they then ambush. Their colors adapt to the color of the flowers they sit on. Changing colors can happen within a few hours, although sometimes it can take one or two days.

I was able to document the process of color changes with this specimen that I found sitting on a mint plant in Cape Town, South Africa. Returning to the same plant over a few days meant that I could witness the spider change its appearance while sitting on the exact same flower. When I found it, it was white and after the plant blossomed it turned pink, to match the color of the flower.

Macro photography is truly a journey where you come across fascinating species. I try to pass on this fascination to others. People usually fear what they do not know or understand. The world of spiders and insects is inhabited by many creatures that might look alien, or dangerous, but are actually harmless to us. Knowledge may lead to acceptance and respect towards these inhabitants of a world that is often hidden from us.

Pink flower crab spider, Cape Town, South Africa, Canon 5D Mk II, Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro, f/10, 1/160sec, ISO 100
We wish to congratulate this month’s POTM winner. This gorgeous picture will be promoted via our social media pages.
Clare Disano • WPM Editor

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