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Archive for July 6th, 2010

The Heat is On

Arthur

The heat of summer has arrived with July. When the heat is on, there’s nothing to do but to find a place to relax and chill out.

Capone

Tonka

Mikey

Moey

Buddy

Momcat

Arthur again.

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Birdgirl just posted about her latest Coolest Spider Ever find, over at The Marvellous in Nature, a Starbellied Orbweaver. Can’t argue with that. That is one cool spider. I thought I’d post this photo of one of my favorite spiders, a tiny, yellow flower crab spider.

I meet these little guys in my garden with some frequency. They are also called Goldenrod spiders because they are often found on that plant in the fall. To say that they are yellow hardly begins to cover it. They are brilliant, electric yellow. At least, the ones I’ve noticed, but they can change colour. If they are on white flowers, they can gradually change colour to match the flower over a few days.

Crab spiders, and this is probably Misumena vatia, don’t build webs. Instead, they hang about on flowers and plants with their front legs spread apart, waiting for a small insect to approach. Then they grab their victim and paralize it with their venemous fangs. The fangs also help to hold the victim and penetrate it for feeding purposes. Though they may make their living on flowers, they’re not really sweet, harmless individuals, if you are a potential food source, anyway. For the gardener, they are just another bright curiosity of the garden world.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Family: Thomisidae
Genus: Misumena
Species: M. vatia

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