Half-Grown Yellow Crab Spider

2015 June 27

Rosie spotted this little, pale yellow-green crab spider on our window sill on September 19, 2014.

I think this is a half-grown female Goldenrod Crab Spider, Misumena vatia. At the moment she’s not very big or colorful, but if I have the ID right, then on maturing she’d be either white or canary yellow, with red stripes on the sides of her abdomen. I think we can see the red stripes just starting to form in this next picture.

Around here, these spiders lay eggs in the summer which hatch out around the end of August. When they first hatch, they are a pale gray, like this one from my posting in 2008:

The spiderlings don’t have time to mature before winter, so they overwinter half-grown like this one.

And, in the spring she can fatten up on all the little things that hatch out, until she is like this one from 2012:

and be all ready to mate with a strapping fellow like this one (from 2007):

and lay eggs by early summer.

5 Responses
  1. June 27, 2015

    Do they hunt during the winter or do they just hunker down and hibernate like bears?

  2. June 27, 2015

    This was great, showing how they change over time. Bookmarked and shared. 🙂

  3. June 28, 2015

    I suspect your photography is legendary among Goldenrod Crab Spider families, tales to be recounted at family reunions.

    “So, do you remember when The Big One photographed Great-Uncle Zeke back in Aught Seven? What a time that was! And he took Aunt Blanche’s engagement photo in ’12, too. Posed her right there on a white blossom, such a high key photo it was, with just that touch of green to set off her stripes. So purty!”

  4. June 28, 2015

    Anne wins this comment thread!

  5. June 29, 2015

    KT: There are some crab spiders that run around under the snow all winter, but I’m not sure about these. I think they probably hibernate in crevices or down in the leaf litter, though.

    Thanks, Suzannah

    And Anne, now you have me wondering how human society would react to giants poking around taking pictures of people at random, but without actually hurting anyone or damaging anything . . .

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