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Wolf Read

Vancouver, Canada

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Artist's Description

Also called simply the flower spider or even the banana spider due to the yellow coloration, this species of Thomisid crab spider, Misumena vatia , decided to stake out a striking tiger lily (Lilium columbianum ) for prey. The Thomisids have two pairs of fore-legs enlarged for grasping prey, as is evident in these photos. The remaining pairs of hind legs are smaller and are used to cling to surfaces such as a flower stem. Compared to one of its typical prey items, say the honey bee, this spider has figured out the easy life. Instead of slaving away for queen and colony doing busy-bee stuff, the flower crab spider finds a suitable location and simply waits for its meals to arrive on wings. The spider apparently uses a potent venom that is capable of immobilizing much larger prey, such as bumble bees.

I went to this spot to photograph the tiger lilies, which grew in a large cluster at the site and offered some interesting compositional opportunities. The crab spider provided a nice surprise. Indeed, there seemed to be many crab spiders at the park, of many different species.

Also, the glistening legacy of a persistently rainy June in Southwest British Columbia is evident on the flower.

Canon EOS 60D
Canon EF 300mm 1:4 L IS USM
1/400s, f / 5.6, -1/3 EV, ISO 320
Hand-held

Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park, BC
29 Jun 2012

Featured in Canon DSLR in July 2012.
Featured in 300+ Go Long in July 2012.

Artwork Comments

  • Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos
  • Wolf Read
  • Jon Lees
  • Wolf Read
  • elisab
  • Wolf Read
  • Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos
  • Wolf Read
  • Chuck Wickham
  • Wolf Read
  • Robyn Carter
  • Wolf Read
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