Thursday, 13 June 2019

Natural Born Killers


During a spell of hot dry weather in late May I photographed a series of flower crab spiders with their victims in the orchard. Here is a selection. I photographed at least twice as many individuals as I'm showing you here.

Photographed by Susan Walter.  Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.
 Ashy Mining Bee Andrena cinerea captured by a Xysticus sp on Fodder Burnet Sanguisorba minor subsp muricata (Fr. Pimprenelle polygame)

Photographed by Susan Walter.  Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.
 Glanville Fritillary Melitaea cinxa (Fr. La Mélitée du Plantain) captured by Thomisus onustus (Fr. la Thomise enflée) on Field Scabious Knautia arvensis (Fr. Scabieuse).

Photographed by Susan Walter.  Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.
 Glanville Fritillary captured by T. onustus on a Pyramidal Orchid Anacamptis pyramidalis (Fr. Orchis pyramidal).

Photographed by Susan Walter.  Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.
Knapweed Fritillary Melitaea phoebe (Fr. Le Grand Damier) captured by T. onustus on Field Scabious.

Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.
Four-spotted moth Tyta luctuosa (Fr. Noctuelle en deuil) caught by T. onustus on Field Scabious.

As you can see from the photos, the flower crab spider Thomisus onustus comes in pink and white or yellow. It also comes in green, and can change colour as necessary for camouflage. Sometimes they are nearly invisible, but having said that, they can be remarkably brazen, and are far less concerned about concealing themselves from a photographer than the Xysticus was.

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4 comments:

  1. Wonderful photos. The crab spiders are rather like lions at a watering hole !

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  2. Fantastic photos, well done. Enjoy the weekend Diane

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