Crab spiders: camouflage experts
What would you name a spider that held its legs out at its sides, just like a crab does? What would you name a spider that could walk forward, backward or scuttle rapidly sideways, the way a crab does? A CRAB spider, of course!
These unusual and often beautiful little spiders use no web to catch their prey, but hunt instead. A crab spider, camouflaged by its surroundings, waits patiently and motionless in flowers, among leaf litter, or along the stems or leaves of plants, to ambush passing insects.
Many crab spiders perfectly match the flower that they lurk on. One kind of crab spider can change from white to yellow or from yellow to white in order to blend with the color of the flower in which it sits. Insects don’t see the crab spider patiently waiting there. Suddenly, an unsuspecting victim, searching for nectar, is grabbed, bitten, paralyzed by the crab spider’s potent poison, and sucked dry.
Instinctively, the crab spider knows that if it is hungry, it has to depend on effective camouflage to catch a meal.