Eensy weensy spider…

30 06 2008

My friend Tom took us out to his farm in Orange County, Virginia, this morning. Tom and Michael commenced to mowing about an acre of grass (more or less) while I went exploring.

This tiny white-as-snow spider stood out in a field of grass and I tried photographing her despite the swaying grass. The first thing I noticed was the big white posterior. Every time I moved in to focus, she did this crab-like sideways dance for several shots. Then another bug flew onto the same grass stalk and was instantly caught. It was already a goner before I realized what had happened (even spiders have to eat). Of all the grasses springing from Tom’s 280 acres, this one unfortunate bug wandered onto this one blade, and the rest is history.

This is a female ‘Misumena vatia’ spider—also known as a “white death spider,” “flower crab spider,” or “goldenrod crab spider.” For some really fascinating information about how this spider can change colors, click here or here. These spiders sometimes aim for prey much larger than they are, as evidenced here. And for some really nice images of one on a cosmos flower, click here. For detailed information on this spider, click here.

I thought the prey looked awfully familiar. A “Hoverfly” made its appearance on a posting I made in May. Click here for the story and photographs.

THIS JUST IN…Tom, said proprietor of Springbook Farm, has informed me that the plant is a Buckhorn plantain flower head (Plantago lanceolata).

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.



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