Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wildlife in My Backyard

In my yard, we have a new visitor which is quite interesting to watch. The Goldenrod Crab Spider (Misumena vatia) was found preying upon innocent bumblebee's (not sure the exact sp. sorry...I try not to touch other things' lunch, lol) Try and see if you can see it in the picture on the left (click on pics for a closer view). Its in between the two petals in the front. That fuzzy black blob in the yellow centre is its lunch. A poor fuzzy little bee. (I know bee colonies are currently in trouble because of Colony Collapse Disorder, but I can't help it. Watching these spiders attack their prey is fascinating!) These spiders are found throughout Alberta, and due to its size (~7mm), I think that this was a female Goldenrod Crab Spider. (I say "was" because while researching on the type of spider, etc. I haven't seen it since taking the pictures). During my research, I found that these spiders can range in colour from yellow to white, but always has the darker red stripes down its abdomen which is visible in the fuzzy picture to the left. It is very good at blending into this Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum var. Alaska), but can be found anywhere waiting for its next snack. After I finished taking its picture, I sat with my little seedling and watched as it dragged the bee across the flower to nestle it between two rows of petals. The next day, it was gone!

Acorn, John and Sheldon, Ian. 2000. Bugs of Alberta. Pg.150. Lone Pine Publishing. Edmonton, AB.

No comments: