After spotting a dead honey bee on an apple blossom, I took a closer look. Some spider legs and part of an almost translucent abdomen were visible, underneath the bee. The next day the spider was in full view. As if the white body weren't interesting enough, the spider further concealed her presence by the addition of two pink spots on the abdomen. Wow, a beautiful white and pink spider on a white and pink apple blossom.
(Many thanks to sweepbjames for instructions on uploading pictures.)
I think it is a crab spider. I see them in my calla lilies every year. Pure white and hiding in the Calla blossoms.
So no pink spots while in the Calla lilies? The ability to camouflage is so interesting, I wonder if they would have different colored spots to match other colors of flowers, along with staying pure white while living in a white flower.
Thanks for the name, it's not hard to see why they're called crab spiders.
Since I'm not a bee, I have the luxury of appreciating the spider's beauty and enjoy having her live in my apple tree.
I need to try to start putting more pictures in here.
If you find a dead bee or fly on a flower, it's always worth a closer look because all too often it's a crab spider who blended-in well enough to not be seen. (Reminds me of the Monty Python segment on "How not to be seen.") Crab spiders (--Thomisidae is the family name--) are pretty darn cool. Their ability to change color is absolutely fascinating. Most often our local crab spiders in Cascadia will be white or yellow, on a flower of the same color. They're definitely a "lurking" type of predator, waiting patiently for some poor sucker to come along. I have a photo of one that was on an orange-flowered begonia species (B. sutherlandii) from southern Africa that did an outstanding job of blending in. A few years ago, I was also staggered to find one on my cultivated Lobelia cardinalis that I collected in Indiana in 2010.... How it was able to turn a dusky red color is beyond my comprehension. Regrettably, by the time I came out of the house with my camera it had disappeared.... Ain't that just the way it goes.
For a really good site relating to insects, both my wife and I recommend "BugGuide.Net". People seeking identifications for insects that they don't recognize send in their photos, and there is usually an expert who (--assuming the photo is clear enough--) can at least place the specimen to Family, if not Genus and Species.
Nice photo, GH! The natural world will always fascinate!
Thanks Dubyadee and Reinettes, for the information and bug identification website.
The crab spider captured another bee today, it's a gruesome end for sure. I wonder how they find food when the flowers are gone, and there are no more bees to catch. Do they camouflage with the leaves, then wait for whatever happens to wander by? As Reinettes stated,
They're definitely a "lurking" type of predator, waiting patiently for some poor sucker to come along.
It seems as though it could be a very long wait if they're just hanging out on an apple leaf.
So much drama, life and death all around us, if we care to look for it.
Like the mason bee, they might lay eggs and die until next spring.