Colour changing Crab Spider

A Common Hottentot Skipper is a fast flying butterfly that often pauses for brief periods to feed on flowers.

Masters of Ambush.

Crab Spiders are the epitome of ambush predators. They hide in flowers and wait for pollinators to alight for a meal and conduct their essential services.

One of our original observations of the Crab Spider on this particular plant clearly shows the pale cream body with a mere hint of pink on the top and the definite white legs.

Then with a slender thread of silk anchoring themselves to the flower, they launch on the busy insect, bite into their thorax and inject a concoction of toxins to both immobilize and predigest their prey.

Changing Colour.

For over a month we have monitored a crab spider on a particular plant, usually in the same flower. Last week it seemed to disappear, itself the possible prey of a bird.

Photographed one month later, the Crab Spider has a clear Banded pattern of dark pink and white on its entire body and legs.
A top view clearly shows the banded pattern.

On our regular walk this morning, on closer inspection of the flower, there it was, but this time with a different, more camouflaged colour pattern.

While we can’t prove beyond a doubt that it is indeed the same individual, the remote isolation of the plant makes it highly probable.

This is just one of the special sightings of the micro wildlife that we have had in our garden during lock down.

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