THE CRAB SPIDER - Thomisidae Family
Who would want to be a honeybee? Not me !
Other than the well known problems facing a honeybee like varroa destructor; EFB & AFB; Waxmoths etc. there is now another recognised bee killer the white banded crab spider . While these are hardly likely to cause a colony collapse, they can steadily reduce the number of worker bees.
This spider is an ambush predator, waiting on nectar laden flowers for up to three days for a victim . It camouflages itself to match the colour of the plant and when a juicy victim comes near it launches itself on its pre and injects it with a deadly toxin and then enjoys its meal.
Scientists have discovered new details about how a species of crab spider can slowly change its colour to match its background when hunting.
The female white banded crab spider uses its rare colour-changing ability to ambush prey, such as bees, flies and wasps, by hiding in plain sight on flowers.
While scientists have long known the arachnid could change colour, up until now researchers weren't sure why some of the species found it easier.
This species of crab spider exhibits one of the most extreme examples of sexual size dimorphism across all animals.
Females, which are the size of a 'fat kernel of corn,' are 20 times larger in mass than males.
The female white banded crab spider uses its colour-changing ability to ambush prey, such as bees, flies and wasps.
The small males become adults prior to females and then go searching for mates through a physically complex habitat.
Male crab spiders outnumber females and multiple suitors will gather around females close to becoming adults.
Article and photos taken with thanks from information in ‘Mail on line’ & ‘Honey bee suite’.