crab spider

Jon Hawkins Surrey Hills Photography

crab spider

Jon Hawkins Surrey Hills Photography

crab spider on leaf

Jon Hawkins Surrey Hills Photography

Flower crab spider

Scientific name: Misumena vatia
The flower crab spider is one of 27 species of crab spider. The flower crab spider can alter the colour of its body to match its surroundings and to hide from prey. It is not as common as other types of crab spider.

Species information

Statistics

9-11mm -female
3-4mm - male

When to see

Between May and August

About

Unlike many spiders, flower crab spiders don’t spin webs to trap insects. Instead they ambush their prey, often laying in wait on foliage for unsuspecting bees, moths and other insects that come to feed on flowers. The male is smaller than the female and, unlike the female, cannot change their colouration.

How to identify

The flower crab spider has a globular abdomen, sometimes with spots or lines. They can change their colour to match their surroundings but often appear white. Their front legs are longer and stronger than their back legs. Primarily daytime feeders, these spiders are easiest to spot outdoors between April and September.

Distribution

Most common in the south of the UK

Did you know?

This group of spiders get its name from the crab-like way the front legs are arranged as well as being able to run sideways.