Thursday, December 27, 2012

A crab spider hug

Winter brings its charms, but as I get older I also find myself pining for spring, warmer weather, and the explosion of life, earlier each year. Here it is in late December and I'm already longing for bugs, flowers, warblers and all of that other stuff of the balmy months.
The good thing about taking, and keeping, reams of photos is that I can beam myself back in time via pictures. I clicked into a folder from an Adams County, Ohio foray of last August 18th - that day was MUCH warmer than it is right now - and ran across these crab spider photos.
The animal had staked out the discoid flowers of a Wingstem, Verbesina alternifolia, and was awaiting its next meal. Any tiny flower fly or other well-intentioned pollinator would die a grisly death soon after alighting on this blossom. The spider was a juvenile, and tiny, and I don't know the species other than it's some sort of crab spider. Good enough for now.

As the front glass of my lens neared his eight-eyed grill, the itsy-bitsy spider menacingly spread its forelegs wide, as if to give your narrator an arachnoid hug. No backing off here, in spite of my size advantage. I made my images and let the little crab spider get back to its homicidal work.


Unknown said...

Hey, I thought you "loved all the seasons" You should be out looking for redpolls. Seriously, warmth does have its charms. Your spider looks a lot like an immature Misumessus oblongus (AKA Misumenops oblongus before they shifted it to a different genus). This spider is often pale green with few spines on the cephalothorax or abdomen (compared to other similar ones in this group). Of course we can't know from a photo of a juvenile, even a very nice one (like these)!

Cheers, rich

Jim McCormac said...

Thanks Rich, if anyone would know the identity of that spider, it would be you! My copy of your new book is on order, but amazon has not yet shipped it. Looking forward to receiving that and I'll be reviewing it here, and in the Columbus Dispatch.