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Insects and other arthropods

Goldenrod spider

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Misumena vatia

Tabs group

Description

These spiders, like the other Thomisidae, have characteristics normally associated with crabs: their first two pairs of legs are longer and often held apart, ready to catch their prey, and they scuttle sideways when disturbed.

The females are yellow or white. Their abdomens, wider toward the rear, have two bright pink longitudinal stripes. They are from 6 to 11 mm long, without their legs. The males are smaller (3 to 5 mm) and darker. Their legs and bodies are reddish brown, with a white mark above the eyes.

Life cycle

The adults that survive the winter mate in spring. The fertilized females lay their eggs in a silken sac and stop eating. They guard the eggs for about three weeks. Once the young hatch, the female dies.

The young spiders disperse into their surroundings. In the summer they feed by hunting, and moult several times. By late fall, they measure about 5 mm, and they overwinter in this stage. When spring comes, they moult one last time and become adults capable of reproducing in turn.

Geographic distribution

This species occurs throughout the Northern hemisphere (Europe, Asia, North America, North Africa).

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